The Government of Mozambique, in partnership with the ICCF Group, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Rainforest Trust, convened a roundtable during COP28 in Dubai on December 4th, 2023.

In 2022, the Government of Mozambique took a significant step by rallying the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to adopt a unified strategy aimed at ensuring the sustainable management of the Miombo Forest and protecting the Great Zambezi Basin. The "Miombo Forest Initiative," formally known as the Maputo Declaration, received endorsement from 10 SADC countries during a gathering in Maputo, Mozambique, held in August 2022. The 10 countries sharing the Miombo woodlands include Angola, Botswana, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In this context, the Government of Mozambique, in partnership with the ICCF Group, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Rainforest Trust, convened a roundtable during COP28 in Dubai on December 4th, 2023. The aim was to heighten global awareness about the Miombo Forest's critical role and garner international support for its preservation through international forums. This forest is vital for sustaining the Great Zambezi Basin, home to over 300 million people, with more than 40 million residing along the Zambezi River, a number set to increase to 51 million by 2025. Its preservation is essential for the livelihoods of rural communities reliant on its resources.

Led by Her Excellency Ivete Joaquim Maibaze, Mozambique's Minister of Land and Environment, the roundtable outlined the Miombo Forest Initiative's objectives, rationale, and national commitments.

Esteemed figures like Her Excellency Ana Paula de Carvalho, Minister of Culture, Tourism, and the Environment of Angola, and Her Excellency Ève Bazaiba Masudi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo, alongside high-level representatives from Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, also contributed remarks. The discussion, moderated by John Gantt, President and CEO of the ICCF Group, featured key speakers including Rachel Travers, CEO of Rainforest Trust-UK, and Monica Medina, President and CEO of Wildlife Conservation Society.

The roundtable highlighted the Miombo Forest's significance as a crucial ecosystem, showcasing its potential in carbon markets, energy transitions, and its pivotal role in fostering livelihoods across the Greater Zambezi region. It aimed to raise awareness about preserving this vital tropical forest, a cornerstone in the global mission to conserve 30 percent of nature by 2030.

This event set the stage for the upcoming International Conference on the Miombo Forest, scheduled for April 2024 in Washington, DC.

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