Mozambican Parliamentarians Participate in Conservation Governance Workshop

May 29, 2018
Mozambican Parliamentarians Participate in Conservation Governance Workshop

On May 29th, members of Mozambique's Parliamentary Forum for Conservation, led by the Committee on Environment, in collaboration with The ICCF Group, met to address and discuss conservation and good governance of natural resources in Mozambique.

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On May 29th, members of Mozambique's Parliamentary Forum for Conservation, led by the Committee on Environment, in collaboration with The ICCF Group, met to address and discuss conservation and good governance of natural resources in Mozambique.

Specifically, members met to discuss developments under amendments passed last year to the Mozambican Conservation Law. Further, members discussed challenges for conservation under current law as well as prospects for the Attorney General’s National Strategy on Wildlife and Forest Crime. Key to the workshop was also a discussion of alternative conservation models, such as community-managed conservancies, and how to incorporate them into the conservation policy and legal framework.

In May 2017, Mozambique amended the Mozambican Conservation Law of 2014 to impose higher penalties for wildlife crimes, including incarceration, and expand the scope of the law to cover a greater share of wildlife populations. As Carlos Lopes Pereira, Director of Conservation for the National Administration of Protected Areas (ANAC), told workshop participants, Mozambique lost nearly 40,000 elephants over 40 years, due in large part to poaching, methods for which become more sophisticated each year. The Community and Social Works Official for ANAC, Julieta Lichungue, stressed the importance of involving local communities and garnering local commitments for conservation of wild fauna and flora. All but one of Mozambique’s conservation areas, she said, have communities living within them.

In addition to the 2017 legislation, the Government of Mozambique is taking steps to examine gaps in judicial frameworks preventing effective prosecutions of wildlife-related crimes. Deputy Attorney General Albino Macamo told workshop participants that an assessment made prior to the development of the National Strategy for Wildlife and Forest Crimes found weaknesses in institutional coordination and legal frameworks and a lack of conservation knowledge amongst judges and prosecutors, among other shortcomings.

Similarly, the Government is looking to take action to update laws and policies concerning forestry, said Josimar Boisse and Pedro Vicento of the Ministry of Land, Environment, and Rural Development. Specifically, a revision of the 1999 Forest Law is under consideration and likely to be submitted to Parliament this year. Bringing together interested stakeholders, they said, will be an important part of the reform process.

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