FAO in Mozambique

International Day of Forests - FAO focus on the education of the youngest

Young students at the International Day of Forest event organized by FAO Mozambique

On the International Forestry Day, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held an event on Thursday (March 21) to mark the date under the theme "Forests and Education".

The FAO Representative in Mozambique, the National Director of Forests, environmentalists, teachers, primary, and secondary school students who were the main target of the day, attended the event.

During the occasion students presented poems and educational messages calling for the conservation of forests and the recycling of solid waste to promote more green spaces and cleaner cities.

FAO Representative, Olman Serrano stressed that "International Forestry Day is a day of celebration, especially for those living around or inside the forests. For all of us, including people who only imagine how forests are, and have never had the opportunity to meet them, this is a day of reflection on trees and forests ".

During his speech, the FAO Representative also referred to the tragic cyclone that is affecting the central region of the country and asked for a minute of silence for the victims.

"This celebration does not let us forget the national catastrophe caused by the heavy rains and cyclone IDAI, which we are living at the moment, and whose dimension is not yet fully known. We have seen tragic images and heard about countless human and material losses. FAO has been doing its best to mobilize human and material resources to respond to the impact of the cyclone", he concluded.

In addition to this activity, FAO has developed a proposal for updating the Municipal Urban Forestry Plan to be presented to the City Council of Maputo City.

Jan Walotek, responsible for this initiative mentioned in a didactic way, that this plan consists on technical implementation tools and guidelines for the planning, development and maintenance of urban forests, based on management approaches implemented by cities with diverse cultures, forms, structures and histories, that have used urban and forest infrastructure to develop economic and environmental services and to strengthen social cohesion and public involvement. FAO technical assistance will be oriented by the provision of various ecosystem products and services to respond local and global challenges.

About Urban Afforestation
In December 2018, the World Forum on Urban Forests launched the Call for Action Plan for greener, healthier and happier cities for all, backed by urban forestry design and management expertise in the latest health and wellness discoveries and the benefits of green spaces. The Forum also launched a challenge to all cities in the world to join the program "World Tree Cities Program".

Forests in Mozambique
Mozambique is one of the few countries in southern Africa that still has some forest cover (31.6 million hectares), representing around 30% of the country. Miombo is the most important forest ecosystem, accounting for about 67% (2/3) of the country's forest cover.

However, deforestation and forest degradation caused by agriculture, urban sprawl and infrastructure, population settlements, logging, coal production, mining, among others, have reduced the availability of forest ecosystem goods and services to communities rural areas, as well as threatening biodiversity and increasing the emission of greenhouse gases.

About the International Day of Forests
In 1971, FAO created the International Day of Forestry to raise awareness of the importance of forest ecosystems.
Subsequently, in 2012, a resolution was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly that established March 21st as the International Day of Forests, a way to celebrate the date worldwide.