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Sustainability of the Miombo Forest debated in Washington

From this Tuesday, in Washington, African and United States politicians and experts will debate the sustainability of the Miombo Forest at an international conference organized by Mozambique that will be attended by the Mozambican President.

:  Angola Image Bank
Angola Image Bank  

The International Conference on the Sustainable and Integrated Management of the Miombo Forest begins this Tuesday with a ministerial meeting and discussion panels and ends on Wednesday with an intervention by the Mozambican head of state, Filipe Nyusi, and the verbal adoption of the Statement of Commitment to the Miombo Forests Initiative.

The Miombo Forest covers two million square kilometers and covers eleven countries in Southern Africa, including Mozambique and Angola, resulting in the conference of Filipe Nyusi's initiative, which, in August 2022, brought together the leaders of ten other countries in the "Declaration of Maputo on Miombo Forest", to promote a common approach to the "Sustainable and Integrated Management of Miombo Forests and the Protection of the Great Zambezi Basin".

According to the organization, this conference, which will be attended by members of the North American congress and African parliaments, aims to promote investment opportunities within the framework of the implementation of the Maputo Declaration, aiming to achieve goals on climate change, conservation of biodiversity and integrated sustainable development.

"The main objective of the conference is to promote the potential of the Miombo Forest to contribute to global efforts to achieve goals on climate change, biodiversity conservation and integrated sustainable development", explain the promoters.

The Miombo Forest provides numerous goods and services that guarantee the livelihoods of more than 300 million inhabitants of these countries, including tropical and subtropical grasslands, thickets and savannas, constituting the largest tropical dry forest ecosystem in the world.

"They are responsible for maintaining the Great Zambezi, one of the most important transnational river basins", explain the promoters of the conference, which is also organized by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The Maputo Declaration on the Miombo Forest, signed, in addition to Mozambique and Angola, also by Botswana, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, establishes priorities for management and sustainable governance of the natural resources of Miombo ecosystems.

The wide variety of species found in Miombo Forest provides diverse ecosystem services and products, considered "extremely important for the subsistence and income generation of local populations".

"However, a growing population and consequent increase in demand for agricultural land, combined with the unsustainable use and over-extraction of natural resources in parts of Miombo forests and the impacts of climate change, pose a serious threat to products and services of forests and the livelihoods that depend on them", warn the conference promoters.

Mozambique alone loses 267 thousand hectares of forests every year, according to data presented by the national director of Forests, Cláudio Afonso, on the sidelines of the first meeting of the Technical Committee for the Operationalization of the Maputo Declaration on the Sustainable and Integrated Management of the Miombo Forest, last July.

The Miombo Forest is responsible for maintaining the Zambezi river basin, along which more than 40 million people live from the eight countries crossed by this watercourse.

In Mozambique, the Miombo Forest extends from the northern part of Inhambane to the provinces of Manica, Tete, Sofala and Zambézia, in the central region, and Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado, in the northern region of the country.


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