- The Mozambican authorities have recovered 66 containers of wood that had been illegally exported to China, the Minister for Land and Environment, Ivete Maibaze said on Friday.
- The 66 containers are part of a batch of 76, exported illegally in December via the port of Pemba, in Cabo Delgado province, the minister said, during the opening of a coordinating council of the Ministry for Land and Environment, held in Maputo.
“The return of the remaining 10 is currently underway and we believe that they will arrive,” said Maibaze, adding that a process is underway at the Attorney General’s Office to hold those involved accountable.
According to the minister, the Mozambican and Chinese authorities have a memorandum of understanding to ensure that wood illegally exported from Mozambique is returned.
Several national and international reports have indicated that Mozambique is the scene of environmental crimes, mainly illegal logging, warning of the consequences of high levels of deforestation. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) revealed that a staggering 93 per cent of logging in Mozambique during 2013 was illegal. Research, undercover investigation and analysis conducted by EIA 2013-2014 demonstrated that that the key driver of forest crime in Mozambique was the ongoing demand for hardwoods in China. Read more
As a way to reduce the pressure on forest resources, restrictive measures have been applied in the last five years to reverse the scenario.
In 2018, the Mozambican government issued new rules for the exploitation and export of wood, to curb the rampant felling of native species.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal