Mozambique moving toward sustainable growth
Mozambique’s reputation and image for protecting its natural environment is far from stellar. In the past the country has not paid much heed to environmental groups. These groups have long called for better protection of the environment as Mozambique strives for higher economic growth and development. The Southern Africa country has sufficient laws to protect and preserve the environment. Indeed, thousands of hectares of primary forest have been designated as national parks and are thus off-limits to businesses. The issue lies in the enforcement of these laws, especially by local governments. But that notion could now change as the government pays greater attention to environmental protection and sustainable business practices.
The country’s leadership has now emphasized that the government is committed to preserving the environment and establishing as well as implementing policies to that end. Developments that damage the environment are not a choice for the country. They have also urged state officials to apply the law and not to issue business permits in areas that are deemed protected forest land. In some cases, the state officials have even instructed the Education Ministry to include environmental issues in the current elementary school curriculum. There are positive steps and no doubt that’s a proactive approach which other African governments should follow. According to an Australian friend working as an environment consultant in Maputo, there is no question that the government must do more to protect and preserve the country’s rich natural heritage. The country’s rainforests are millions of years old and contain plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. If Mozambique strike the right balance between economic growth and preserving the environment, there is no reason why it cannot be a role model for sustainable growth.