WASHINGTON, March 7, 2017 — Today the World Bank approved $47 million (Of the total amount of $47.3 million, $15 million is a credit from the International Development Association (IDA); $13.2 million is a loan from the Strategic Climate Fund; $8.8million is a grant from the Strategic Climate Fund, and $10 million is a grant from the Multi-Donor Trust for Integrated Forests and Landscape Management in Mozambique) in support of the Government of Mozambique’s Forest Investment Project. The project is part of an effort to stem the rapid pace of deforestation in the country and to create new livelihood opportunities for rural communities through improved forest and land management practices in targeted landscapes across Mozambique.
Mozambique is richly endowed with natural resources including 40 million hectares of natural forests, of which almost 27 million hectares are productive forests, having contributed with over $300 million to the country’s GDP in recent years. Despite their tremendous potential, the country’s natural forests are being rapidly depleted at an annual rate of approximately 0.35 percent a year, representing an annual loss of almost 140,000 hectares.
“The threat that the current rate of deforestation in the country poses to rural livelihoods, wildlife and biodiversity habitats, as well as the significant emissions of greenhouse gases generated by deforestation all make the goals of this project extremely important,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros.
The project financing will focus on integrated landscape management and enabling conditions for sustainable forest management. Some of the key expected results include reduced net greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation; increased number of hectares of natural resources protected and restored; improved forest governance; increased access to finance for agriculture and forest-based production participants; and increased number of rural households with access to land certificates.
“This project’s integrated landscape management approach (comprising activities in sectors such as forestry, agriculture, and energy) addresses the major drivers of deforestation in two landscapes suffering rapid deforestation, with high levels of rural poverty: the Quirimbas National Park and the Gile National Reserve,” said Andre Aquino, the project’s Task Team Leader. “The project targets this by promoting community-based forest management, agro-forestry, sustainable charcoal making and reforestation to restore degraded areas”.
This project was developed in close collaboration with local and central government officials, local communities, private sector, and civil society. The project will benefit 163,000 households in the targeted districts of Zambeze and Cabo-Delgado provinces. Approximately 3,300 small and medium landholders operating in timber, non-timber forests, charcoal, and agricultural activities will receive support in preparing management and business plans, training in technologies and improved land-use and product processing techniques, as well as in access to markets. Other direct beneficiaries include key government institutions at the national and directorate levels, specifically from the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.