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Climate Change in Mozambique

The combination of high exposure and high vulnerability makes Mozambique one of the countries at highest risk from the impacts of climate change and natural disasters, and is the only country in Africa to be considered at high risk from all three major extreme weather-related risks – droughts, flooding and tropical storms/cyclones. The effects of climate shocks are compounded by high levels of poverty, low levels of human development and low coping capacity.


Climate change is manifested through changes in patterns of temperature and rainfall, increase in the level of sea level and an increase in both the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and tropical cyclones affecting different regions of the country every year.


The consequences include loss of human lives, crops, animals and wildlife, destruction of social and economic infrastructure, increased dependence on international aid, rising prices for agricultural products and deterioration of human health, environmental degradation and loss ecosystems


Climate Change and Forests

Forests, woodlands and other vegetation cover approximately 70% of Mozambique’s total country surface. The forest cover area is 40.1 million ha (51% of the country) of which 26.9 million ha are categorized as productive forests, suitable for timber production and 13.2 million ha are conservation areas of which some are under community management. Mozambique’s predominant forest ecosystem is the Miombo forest, which covers about two-thirds of the forest land in the country. The Miombo forest provides a variety of biophysical ecosystem goods and services; provision of food, fuel, medicine and construction materials and carbon and water management services. Miombo forests are important reservoirs of above- and below-ground carbon, which has huge potential as a carbon sink, especially in soils and woody biomass.


Mozambique’s annual deforestation is high, at around 0.58%/year with 220,000 ha of forest land being lost every year. This represents more than double the deforestation reported in 1994. The REDD+ Strategy demonstrates that conversion of forests to agricultural land through slash and burn agriculture is by far the most significant driver of deforestation, accounting for 65% of the emissions, followed by urban expansion at 12%, wood products at 8%, charcoal and fuelwood at 7% and commercial agriculture at 4%. 


Mozambique has significant potential to contribute to forest-related climate change mitigation, including potential to reduce emissions from deforestation and enhance forest carbon stocks. Land use change and forest degradation account for over 80% of Mozambique’s GHG emissions Managing landscapes in a more sustainable manner would help Mozambique’s significant potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. While the impacts from climate change on forests in Mozambique has not yet been fully assessed, forest degradation will likely increase vulnerability and decrease resilience of rural communities to changing climatic conditions; while frequency of forest fires and pest outbreaks could increase.


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Photo by Max Edkins (World Bank Group)

Carlos Agostinho de Rosário Prime Minister of Mozambique

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Celso Correia

Minister of Land, Enviornment and Rural Development

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