ILLEGALLY FELLED TIMBER TO BE USED TO PRODUCE 800,000 DESKS FOR MOZAMBICAN SCHOOLS

MAPUTO,The illegally felled timber seized by the Mozambican authorities during Operation Trunk earlier this year will be used to produce 800,000 school desks by 2019, says Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development Celso Correia.

During Operation Trunk, brigades headed by Ministry officials descended on timber yards throughout northern and central Mozambique, many of which were run by Chinese companies. Illegal operations were found in three quarters of the timber yards investigated, and a decision was taken that illegally logged timber should be put to a useful purpose.

Correia spoke of plans to convert the illegal timber into school desks when he addressed an extraordinary meeting of the Consultative Council of his Ministry, chaired by President Filipe Nyusi, here last week.

Updating Nyusi on Operation Trunk, Correia said that more than 222,376 cubic metres of logs had been seized in the operation, plus 18,293 cubic metres of sawn timber, while 2,639 fines were imposed for illegal timber operations, amounting to a total of slightly more than 700 million meticais (about 11.5 million US dollars). The violations of norms for forestry operations led to the suspension of the licences of 330 operators.

As for reforestation, Correia said that in 2015-2016 about 4,140 hectares were replanted with native and exotic species, for purposes of conservation and community benefits.

During that two-year period about 335,000 cubic metres of unprocessed logs and 606,000 cubic metres of sawn timber were exported, mostly to China. This year, however, a total ban has been imposed on the export of logs.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK