MOZAMBIQUE MAKES BIGGEST EVER SEIZURE OF LOGS BOUND FOR EXPORT

The Mozambican authorities have seized 1,200 containers of logs in the northern port of Nacala before they could be exported illegally to China, reports the independent daily newspaper, O Pais.

This is the largest single seizure of illegal timber in Mozambican history, according to Olivia Amosse, the Director of the National Agency for Environmental Quality Control in the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development. Amosse led the team which supervised the seizure. The wood seized came from a variety of tree species.

Amosse said that the owners of the wood had been unable to show any document proving that the planned export was legal. She calculated that, had the export gone ahead, the Mozambican government would have been swindled out of more than 60 million meticais (about 828,000 US dollars).

This is the latest in a string of attempts to export timber illegally from Nacala, often with the exporters making false declarations about the contents of their containers. Possibly the exporters involved are rushing to try and move logs out of the country before the new law, banning all exports of logs, takes effect on Jan 1, 2017.

Last month, the government suspended for two years the issuing of any new logging licences. This, plus the ban on log exports, are moves intended to put a brake on deforestation.

Mozambican forests have come under severe pressure from logging, both legal and illegal, particularly in the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Tete, and in Cabo Delgado province in the north.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK