Mozambique: Forestry Company to Abandon Rights to 54,000 Hectares

Maputo — The Norwegian owned forestry company Green Resources has renounced the occupation of 54,000 hectares of land, in four districts in the northern Mozambican province of Niassa, in order to avoid conflicts over land, according to a report on Radio Mozambique.

Green Resources had rights to pine and eucalyptus plantations in the districts of Lichinga, Chimbunila, Lago, Sanga, Muembe, Mandimba and Ngaúma.

The renunciation occurred on Tuesday through an agreement that involves communities of four of these districts – Sanga, Chimbonila, Ngaúma and Mandimba – as well as district governments and other stakeholders involved in the management of natural resources.

The Niassa delegate of the NGO, the Rural Mutual Aid Association (ORAM), Leonardo Abilio, said the transfer of the land to the communities will be supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the tune of seven million meticais (about 96,000 US dollars) up to November next year.

“Green Resources wants to work in a very responsible way and we, as ORAM, are ready to support through the funds that we have”, he said.

Green Resources operates monoculture tree plantations in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. Green Resources Mozambique says that its guiding goals are to establish and manage sustainably commercial forestry plantations, in order to generate forestry products for domestic use and export, as well as to conserve natural forests and biodiversity, and to ensure the social and economic development of the areas where it operates.

But Green Resources has frequently been involved in land disputes with local communities, accused of usurping community land that was mostly used for food production, and of establishing its commercial plantations alongside rivers and other water sources, next to roads and housing, and even inside areas of native forest.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique