MPFC Deliberates on Mozambique’s National Strategy on Wildlife and Forest Crime

December 10, 2018
MPFC Deliberates on Mozambique’s National Strategy on Wildlife and Forest Crime

On December 10th, the Mozambique Parliamentary Forum on Conservation (MPFC) convened in Maputo to discuss the National Strategy on Wildlife and Forest Crime.

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Ensuing discussions served to increase understanding between policymakers and on-the-ground law enforcement and the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) about issues that handicap efforts to combat wildlife and forest crimes, as well as the current status of the Forest Law. H.E. Deputy Attorney General Albino Macamo emphasized that a lack of specialized prosecutors and judges briefed on the importance and severity of environmental crimes, combined with weak institutional coordination, often prevents the effective prosecution of apprehended suspects. Deputy Attorney General Macamo noted the importance of improving the legal framework at a high level as well, and said he was encouraged that the Conservation Law increased penalties for wildlife crimes to up to 16 years in prison with heavy fines.

Hon. Antonio Jose Amelia, 1st Vice-President of the National Assembly of Mozambique, concurred regarding the critical importance of sensitizing policymakers about biodiversity and conservation issues to improve the collective ability of the National Assembly to draft effective legislation that will allow for good oversight and management of Mozambique’s tremendous natural resources. H.E. Celmira da Silva, Vice-Minister of Land, Environment, and Rural Development, also addressed members of the MPFC and detailed the Ministry’s strategy to minimize harmful impacts to pristine conservation areas, and to slow the rapid deforestation rate with policy changes and new agricultural technology.

Members of the MPFC concluded the forum by emphasizing the need to advance the Forest Law to Parliament for improvement and approval, and collaborate with the private sector to advance conservation governance dialogues.

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