Despite the huge potential of Mozambique’s 40 million hectares of natural forests, they are being rapidly depleted at a yearly annual rate of approximately 0.35 per cent, representing an annual loss of almost 140,000 hectares.

This rapid rate of deforestation is posing huge risks to rural livelihoods and biodiversity habitats, and on top of this, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by deforestation is significant.

In response to this, The World Bank is supporting Brazil and Mozambique’s cooperation on the matter, particularly with regard to sustainable rural development.

With that in mind, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering a range of issues from land management and biodiversity to climate change mitigation was signed on 11 May between the two countries.

Oldemiro Baloi, Mozambique’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, said: “We are pleased with this MoU with Brazil and the World Bank. We look forward to learning from Brazil’s commendable efforts to promote sustainable rural development.”

“This MoU is also unique in that it is a tripartite agreement between two countries with a long history of collaboration, and a key development partner.”

Brazil and Mozambique share many of the same challenges and opportunities. Both countries are ecologically rich and grapple with exploitation challenges. Brazil’s experience in supporting natural resource-dependent communities and managing large forest ecosystems will aid Mozambique’s efforts to improve the lives of their rural population and promote sustainable resource management.

“We are happy to strengthen this relationship through this MoU” says Aloysio N. Ferreira, Minister of Foreign Affairs Brazil. “We remain available and eager to contribute to Mozambique’s efforts towards the promotion of sustainable rural development, and glad to learn about Mozambique’s experiences.”

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