Improving forest resource management in Mozambique


Sofala, Mozambique – March 2021

Mozambique is one of Africa’s most significant timber exporters; however, concerns over the legality and sustainability of the timber traded threatens the expansion of this market and led to calls for collaborative action to promote good forest management. To this end, the FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Programme partnered with the Mozambican NGO Gorongosa Restoration Project (GRP) to develop measures to curb illegal logging along the Muanza-Inhaminga corridor. The area borders the Gorongosa National Park and includes significant areas of its demarcated buffer zone.

Draft forest inventory and forest management master plan elaborated

GRP worked with local actors to draft a forest resources inventory for 200 000 hectares of communal and commercial forest area. The inventory aims at:

  • determining the economically exploitable forest resource base;
  • setting the foundation for a sustainable resource utilization plan;
  • identifying sectors that may need to be rehabilitated to become commercially viable;
  • and forming the foundation for a dedicated timber tracking system.

The results of the draft inventory feeds into the Forest Management Master Plan, which will guide forestry investments and timber harvesting in the area, including from Natural Resources Management Committees (NRMCs).  This will determine the amount of harvestable and sustainably usable timber resources. The Master Plan will be underpinned by more specific and localized Forest Management Plans.

Stakeholders will provide feedback on the two draft documents through two workshops held on the 15th and 19th of March in the Sofala Province. The workshops will be attended by local communities’ representatives from Nhantadza, Nguinha, Nhazurure in Muanza, Catemo, Nhabaua, Muanandimae, Maciambosa and Chidanga in Cheringoma, Provincial and District Government, representatives of the Forest Concessions and the GRP team to ensure a collaborative, inclusive exchange of stakeholders involved in forest operations along the Muanza-Inhaminga corridor.

“Widespread consultation on these two important tools is essential as they will become instrumental for private sector actors in Mozambique to better manage concessions in line with international good practices for legal and sustainable forest use,” said Daphne Hewitt, FAO-EU FLEGT Programme Team Leader. “The contribution of local communities to the discussion is critical to ensure that forest communities also benefit from legal logging”.

Looking forward: raising awnress of an capacity in the use of these tools to promote sustainable forest management

Once the Forest Management Master Plan is approved, GRP will  train forestry sector stakeholders in the corridor to empower them to effectively apply the Plan.  Topics covered will include the existing Forestry legislation, roles and responsibilities or NRMCs, NRMC governance matters, understanding of Sustainable Forest Management approaches and techniques,workshops on establishing possible business models for the various communities and areas, including community conservancies

In the long run, it is expected that the forest resources inventory and Forest Managenement Master Plan will contribute to curbing illegal logging and creating community benefits from sustainable forestry in the Muanza-Inhaminga corridor, strengthening existing NRMCs to become more empowered beneficiaries in sustainable forest management and product deals, while safeguarding forest resources.

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 Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom.

For more information, visit the FAO Mozambique country page

Photo credit: ©FAO/Jon Spaull