Mozambique seeks south-south knowledge as it tackles deforestation and greenhouse emissions

July 25, 2015

  • World Bank encourages integrated natural resources management to reduce deforestation and effectively promote rural development
  • Mozambique and participating countries showcase emerging results on how different stakeholders can work towards a common vision for landscape management

MAPUTO – July 25, 2015 – Technical leaders from Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Zambia, Gabon, India and Brazil, who serve as counterparts to the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund (BioCF), Forest Investment Program (FIP) and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), convened in Mozambique for an international workshop under the theme: Jurisdictional Integrated Landscape Management Program. The workshop aimed at building a common understanding among countries on how to design and operationalize sustainable landscape management programs that contribute both to rural development and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

“Deforestation and forest degradation caused by agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland, infrastructure development, destructive logging, wild fire, among other factors, account for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector, as per UN data” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles. “In mitigating this adverse impact on the climate (which results in increased temperatures and increased climate variability), it will be important to reduce emissions from the forest sector, in addition to other measures.”

The workshop focused on the implementation of REDD+, which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation; an international effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests. The initiative offers incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. REDD+ includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, and it’s deemed instrumental in helping achieve a range of benefits including biodiversity and improvements in livelihood of rural communities.

The three day South-South knowledge exchange event offered a unique opportunity to build on emerging trends and successes in Mozambique and elsewhere, to improve the country’s own strategies on that matter. Through interactive group discussions, it became clear that Mozambique needs to establish its own vision for the sector by focusing on development benefits beyond carbon.

Other aspects discussed include strategies for financing, as well as forms of engaging third party players, such as the private sector and civil society groups in the process. On this, emerging examples from Ghana and Mozambique showcased how landscape programs can help companies promote green commodity supply chains that integrate smallholder farmers into supply chains for local, regional and global markets for attractive crops such as cocoa in Ghana and cashew nuts in Mozambique. These models protect the environment and sequester carbon while also generating livelihood opportunities to rural communities.

"In Mozambique we are aware that forest conservation needs to happen through actions that improve our land use, such as soil conservation, sustainable production of alternative products from natural forests, among others, which in turn help increase the agricultural production and productivity within rural communities,” said Ana Isabel Senda, Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development.

The World Bank in its support to the Government of Mozambique has been increasingly emphasizing the need for integrated natural resources management as a way to effectively promote rural development. It does so by aligning several instruments, including investment lending, technical assistance, and analytical work.

“The World Bank’s forest and landscape climate funds, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the Forest Investment Program, are partners with the Government of Mozambique to design and implement jurisdictional REDD+ programs that integrate low-carbon development pathways, improve livelihoods and conserve biodiversity,” said Ellysar Baroudy, Coordinator, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the BioCarbon Fund.  “This workshop has been a constructive forum to share practical lessons and design concepts among countries that are in both funds.”

A new Government program under preparation and funded by the World Bank in a total amount of US$ 80 million, named Agriculture and Natural Resource Landscape Management Project, will seek to promote rural value chains and improve the wellbeing of the rural population. The project places strong emphasis on the integration of smallholder farmers into promising supply chains in agriculture, forestry, nature-based tourism and other areas. It is expected that it will contribute to improve resilience of the natural resources on which the value chains depends, through the rehabilitation of degraded areas, protection of riparian and ecological corridors and integrated land use planning, among other activities.