New Federation of Timber Operators strengthens private sector representation in Mozambique

On 20 October 2020, the Mozambican Association of Timber Operators (AMOMA), announced the  creation of the Mozambican Federation of Timber Operators (FEDEMOMA). The new Federation  unites 16 associations representing nine provinces. These associations in turn consist of 600 enterprises, including 100 forest concession holders and 180 charcoal producers.  The launch was announced at the closing workshop of the project “Improving Forest Governance through Strengthening Private Sector Representation in Mozambique”, attended by representatives from the Ministry of Land and Environment, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique (CTA), representatives from the Delegation of the European Union (EU), the  Embassy of Sweden, as well as the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Mozambique – a treasure trove of natural resources, threatened

Mozambique is one of Africa’s richest countries in forest-related natural resources.  While forests occupy 40 percent of the country’s land area, the rate of deforestation is estimated to be 267 000 hectares per year (MITADER, 2018) owing to illegal logging and insufficient measures to prevent overexploitation, particularly along the main economic corridors and around urban centres. Deforestation and illegal logging limits the forest sector’s contribution to the country’s economic development: currently, national tax revenues derived from the forest sector represent a mere 2 percent due to fiscal losses caused by illegal logging.

Improving forest governance by strengthening private sector representation  

Crucial to improved forest governance is effective and widespread private sector participation in national decision-making processes related to forests. In 2018,  FAO, through the  FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme joined forces with AMOMA to reduce the constraints that Mozambique’s private forest sector faces when trying to fulfil its role in forest governance as one of the government’s main interlocutors, namely  the lack of coordination and representation mechanisms.

The creation of FEDEMOMA will encourage and facilitate dialogue between the public and private sectors. Effective dialogue between parties has the potential to significantly improve forest governance and therefore contribute to more sustainable management of forest resources, decreasing deforestation and creating opportunities for socio-economic development through legal, sustainable, and responsible production and trade of timber products.

FEDEMOMA will give the associations’ members a chance to better project their needs and concerns as timber producers, artisans, processors, and as constituents of a greater community whose wellbeing and natural surroundings are currently at stake” stated Jorge Chacate, President of AMOMA.

More specifically, FEDEMOMA aims to:

  1. Foster dialogue and collaboration with the government to disseminate administrative, economic and social best practices that promote sustainability in the forestry sector;
  2. Promote participation and capacity-building of the private sector in sustainable forest management and contributing to improved inspection and control of the timber trade; private sector members will receive support in improving the compatibility of their practices with rules in place and also sign agreement protocols that benefit their members;
  3. Develop a list of policy issues that will be discussed in the long-term with different stakeholders.

“We thank the European Union and its Members States for making this important work possible” stated the FAO Representative Mr Hernani Coelho da Silva. “This project will contribute to increasing the capacity of forest operators whilst at the same time facilitating dialogue between the public and private sectors. We are confident that these combined actions will contribute to improving  sustainable management forest resources, increase the economic value of forest products as well as the country image globally in the long term”.

Since 2016, the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme has supported four projects in Mozambique, amounting to approximately USD 400 000, primarily focusing on reducing illegal logging through strengthening the private sector in sustainable forest use and supporting the role of local communities in the management and monitoring of forest resources.

The FAO-EU FLEGT Programme is a global demand-driven initiative that provides technical support and resources for activities that further the goals of the EU’s FLEGT Action Plan. The Programme is funded by the European Union, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom.

For more information, visit the FAO Mozambique country page.