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Catandica, in central Mozambique. File photo: DW
The Mozambican government has signed an agreement with the World Bank under which fifty million US dollars will be disbursed in return for cutting carbon emissions and reducing deforestation.
The Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) was signed at the beginning of the month and the country will receive the funds through the Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), a global partnership housed at the World Bank.
Commenting on the agreement, the World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development, Laura Tuck stated, “avoiding deforestation and restoring our forests are essential to a safer, climate-resilient and more prosperous future for communities around the world”. She added that the payments will be “game changers as they provide financial incentives for communities to manage their forests sustainably”.
Under the agreement, the Zambezia Integrated Landscape Management Programme (ZILMP) will pursue a strategy of reducing deforestation and forest degradation whilst implementing measures to improve the lives of rural people. The programme will cover nine districts in the central province of Zambezia where three million hectares of forest cover 56 per cent of the territory. It has been calculated that over one per cent of this woodland is being destroyed each year. Among the key drivers of deforestation are slash and burn practices by small scale farmers, charcoal production, and illegal logging.
To tackle this problem, the programme will enhance economic opportunities through climate-smart land use, as well as the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Funds will be provided based on results, with the goal of reducing 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2024.
According to the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia, “this agreement marks a significant step forward in Mozambique’s efforts to tackle climate change”.
Correia added, “Mozambique is committed to playing an active role and pursuing strong global action on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The World Bank and Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility played an instrumental role in brokering and securing this deal’.
The World Bank estimates that 43 per cent of Mozambique’s overall territory is covered by natural forests (34 million hectares). However, it notes that deforestation has had an important impact over recent years.
Mozambique, along with the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the first of 19 countries in the FCPF Carbon Fund to sign such payment arrangements. Over the next year, the other Carbon Fund countries are expected to sign similar deals which will run through 2024.Source: AIM