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The first national seminar on the National Territorial Plan was held yesterday in Maputo, with Deputy Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development Celmira da Silva declaring that it will deliver environmental sustainability to Mozambique.
“This plan will make orderly population resettlement possible and facilitate the coordination of all new development projects and upcoming investments,” da Silva said. “The process will run for about 18 months, but we expect to have preliminary results in 12 months, with the remaining time spent finalising the maps. The plan will cost about US$4 million, and involves a very large team,” she added.
World Bank representative André Aquino, one of the initiative partners, said that the exploitation of land and natural resources was reaching unsustainable levels in the world, and Mozambique was no exception. “The consumption of natural resources, be they forests, wildlife and oceans, is well above sustainable levels,” he said.
The situation in Mozambique was no different. ‘The country faces a dilemma as, although the per capita consumption is low compared to industrialised countries, it is already being called upon to contribute to the global effort, so that we live within sustainable planetary limits” Aquino said.
The need for a national territorial plan arises from population growth and the movement of people in search of better living conditions, which have led to the spontaneous and disorderly occupation of physical space.
It also addresses the risks of climate change impacts, which often lead to land conflicts between the various stakeholders.
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Celmira da Silva says the solution involves the consolidation of a National Territorial Development Plan (PNDT), where a long-term vision and coordination and compatibility between territorial development policies and strategies at national, provincial and district levels could be developed.
“The plan will also help the organisation of infrastructure implementation, including schools and hospitals, to mitigate the consequences of climate change,” the deputy minister told the press.
Deputy Minister da Silva explained that the plan would require an accurate exercise of government and society in general, and noted that the debate on the National Territorial Plan begins at a time when the land inspection campaign is about to start.