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Mozambique Tackles Illegal Logging

Government of Mozambique introduced two year suspension of new licenses

93 percent of logging in Mozambique is illegal, vast majority shipped to China

During Sept and Oct 2015 WCS has stopped three illegal logging operations in Niassa Reserve, with three trucks and two tractors seized

Link to logging report:

MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE (December 8, 2015) – The Government of Mozambique has issued a decree suspending the issue of all new logging licenses for a period of two years in order to close a regulatory loophole that is threatening the country’s fragile forest ecosystems , according to WCS.

Issued on November 24th, the decree was precipitated by investigations by country’s newly created Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development which found that a loophole in the issuing of logging licenses is allowing foreign logging companies to exploit logging licenses only available to local Mozambicans.

The new decree will enable the Ministry to tighten the law and improve the management of the country’s forest ecosystems.

“This measure allows the Government of Mozambique to realign the sustainable use of forest resources, to eliminate unregulated and illegal exploitation, and create incentives for forest conservation,” said the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia.

A study released last year reported that in 2013, 93 percent of logging in Mozambique was illegal, with the vast majority of the illegal export shipped to China. This is stripping Mozambique of natural resources that could be used for sustainable local development and negatively impacting fragile ecosystems that protect important water sources. The study estimates that this crime and environmental mismanagement has robbed Mozambique’s rural poor and wider population of US$146 million in lost exploration and export tax revenues since 2007.

In the far north of Mozambique WCS and Mozambique’s National Authority for Conservation Areas (ANAC) are co-managing the vast Niassa National Reserve, which has been hard-hit by elephant poaching, reporting a decline of over 7,000 elephants from 2011-2014. Anti-poaching surveillance flights and ground operations have recently been detecting illegal logging encroaching into the Reserve as well, and during the months of September and October 2015 three illegal logging operations were stopped, and three trucks and two tractors seized.


WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.