Mozambique: Report on small to medium sized forest enterprise to reduce poverty

Natural forests and other types of woody vegetation cover 55.3 million
hectares of Mozambique’s total land area. Of the total forest, 67% is suitable for timber production. This represents a substantial commercial resource which forest enterprises could use to help achieve the aims of Mozambique’s Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA) in a country where 70% of the population lives in rural areas.

Thanks to group who announced this report:

Forest enterprises are flourishing in Mozambique in various shapes and
sizes. This paper defines small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs)
as forest industries with not more than 50 employees (although there
are a range of different definitions used within the country). Our
estimates suggest that SMFEs comprise 95.8% of the formally registered
enterprises in the forest sector, and more than 99.9% of the total if
you include informal enterprises. SMFEs also account for more than 80%
of the employment in the forest sector.

There are 126 concessionaires currently active in Mozambique, covering
an area of 5.2 million hectares. Only 63 have an approved management plan, while the rest are either operating informally or still undergoing the costly process of preparing their management plan. This situation clearly demonstrates that forest resources are not being managed sustainably in Mozambique. The legislation supporting sustainable management is
currently not enforced due to limited capacity, or because those political elite who could enforce it are either directly involved in the wood sector as concessionaires, or supporting third parties who ignore their legal requirements.

Timber harvesting generally takes place in an unplanned
manner within concessions. Harvesting volumes are decided annually,
rather than to any long-term plan. It is questionable whether there is
any real difference in management practice between annual licences and
concessionaires beyond the amount of wood they can harvest annually.

Thanks to group who announced this report:

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