Chinese traders largely blamed for illegal ogging (Pic. Agencies)

TETE – MOZAMBIQUE continues to face an increased destruction of its forest resources despite efforts to fight illegal wood hunters over years now.

The Attorney General’s Office in the central province of TETE says it had prosecuted some 54 cases of illegal logging within the FIRST THREE months of this year alone.

The Provincial Chief Prosecutor has revealed the information during a workshop to discuss ways to end the devastation of the tropical forestry areas of the SADC country.

JORGE TIVANE says the current levels of illegal exploitation of timber are too high, comparing the 54 cases in the FIRST QUARTER of 2018 against the total 85 cases last year.

RADIO MOZAMBIQUE quotes him as saying the 54 cases processed up to MARCH, EIGHT accused persons have appeared in Court, and TWO of them have been discharged due to lack of sufficient evidence.

The national broadcaster says a civil society group advocating for sustainable exploitation of natural resources has organised the TETE conference to help save the forests.

Earlier media reports say the threatened tropical forests comprise more than 50 percent of the land mass of MOZAMBIQUE.

A NEWS 24 story in APRIL last year says the never-ending CHINESE thirst for rare wood to propel its furniture sector as well as rampant illegal logging threaten to destroy all of it.

It quotes the BRITAIN-based ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY as saying 93 percent of timber logging in 2013 in MOZAMBIQUE was illegal, and most of it ended up in CHINA.

The report says corruption, weak laws and ineffective institutions, as well as scanty resources to fight the crime, have left the national forests without protection.

Environmental protection campaigners have largely blamed CHINA for the destruction of forests in MOZAMBIQUE, after it started restricting industrial logging in its own forests at the turn of the Century./Sabanews/cam

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