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A Vision and Strategic Agenda for Mozambique’s National Forest Program
The development objective of this activity is to influence forest policy and decision making in Mozambique. The activity will support the preparation of the country's Forest Sector Agenda 2035, which will outline a set of objectives for forest and land use and economic development of the forest sector, detailing present and future trade-offs, and potential conflicts. Developing the Agenda 2035 will also enable critical input to be provided to the current legal reform taking place in the country, such as the revision of the Forest Policy and Strategy, Forest Law, concessions framework, and the National Forest Program. This activity will rely on an extensive stakeholder engagement process, culminating in a national conference on the Agenda 2035.
Mozambique is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, such as droughts and floods; good management and land use decisions are necessary to strengthen the country’s resilience. This is made more difficult by ongoing political, economic, and social changes, including accelerated oil and gas developments, illegal timber trading, high population growth, and increased demand for food and fiber – all of which put the country’s forest resources under stress.
While Mozambique’s forest sector stakeholders have recognized that the country has plans and aspirations for a more developed forest sector, a shared agenda is lacking. As a result, public resources are wasted, and piecemeal activities are contributing to forest degradation and fragmentation. Therefore, there is a need to build consensus on the short and long-term objectives among all stakeholders, including working towards the climate change goals under the Paris Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
This activity consisted of two tracks:
- A technical review and synthesis of literature and information
- Extensive stakeholder engagement
- Forest Sector Agenda 2035 for Mozambique document
- Policy briefs
The goal of the activity was to stimulate a shift towards forward-looking policies and practices in the forest sector that will achieve better environmental and social outcomes for the forest and its stakeholders.
The technical studies that were completed showed that, by 2035:
1) wood products demand is going to outstrip domestic supply; and
2) deforestation will increase based on projections of variables such as population growth and road development.
These studies served as the foundation to equip working groups to provide inputs to the Agenda 2035 document and served as a basis to engage the government of Mozambique.
Overall, the activity has provided a vision and roadmap that can guide decision-makers and stakeholders towards this goal. While the resulting Agenda 2035 and National Forest Program has gained ownership by the government, it will be the implementation of the actions in this roadmap that will lead to better environmental and social outcomes. The process of developing the instruments, due to its participatory nature, revived the discussion of key issues among stakeholders, and introduced a level of transparency in decision-making.
An important next step will be for the government to complete the revision of their policy and legal framework, integrating the principles and actions from the Agenda 2035, National Forest Program and Forest Policy and Strategy into the Forest Law and its regulations. It will also be important for stakeholders to continue to engage in this process and hold the government accountable for the implementation of the revised framework.
Last Updated : 05-07-2020