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FAO in Mozambique

New forestry project launched in Zambézia province to benefit local communities

The project gives a special attention to the women role in decision-making

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the National Directorate of Forestry (DINAF), launched today a new forestry project in Zambezia Province (Payment for Environmental Services to support Forest Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods), an initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) at USD 3.6 million.

The project aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity and mitigate the impact of climate change on miombo forest ecosystems, increasing the management capacity of natural resources and introducing innovative methods.

In addition to these objectives, the project aims to support the Government in improving the channeling mechanism of forest and wildlife revenues, making conditional payments on the environmental performance of communities, with a special attention to women's roles in decision-making and benefit sharing in all components of the project.

The project will be operated in 7 districts (Pebane, Gilé, Ile, Alto Molócue, Maganja da Costa, Mocubela, Mulevala) covering a total area of almost 4 million hectares, of which 2.1 million hectares are forest.

Speaking during the launching ceremony, FAO Project Coordinator Frank Beernaert said that innovation, expansion and sustainability are priorities in implementing this new project.

"Many projects fail because of the lack of follow-up of economically viable activities linked to the markets. The project will start in two pilot districts (Maganja da Costa and Alto Molocué) with expansion to the remaining districts after one year, "he said.

National Forestry Director Xavier Sakambuera Sailors said that "this project will strengthen natural resource management committees, support communities to implement income-generating activities through community associations, using the values they receive to improve people's quality of life. "

The Director considers that "the development of the capacity of beneficiary communities to improve transparency and revenue management is imperative, giving priority to the role of women in decision-making."

It is also intended to support at least 26 natural resource management committees and communities in raising the standard of living, representing about 150,000 rural inhabitants (12.5% of the population in the project area).

Representatives from the provincial government, district government, cooperation partners, non-governmental organizations, private sector entrepreneurs and members of civil society attended to the two-day event (4-5 March).