Status and Trends of Biodiversity
Located in the southeastern seaboard of Africa, Mozambique possesses sites of high importance in regard to biodiversity such as the Gorongosa Mountains, the Great Inselberg Archipelago of Quirimbas in Northern Mozambique, and the Chimanimani Massif. According to national estimates, Mozambique is home to around 5,500 plants, 581 birds, and 205 mammals. Most of the important traditional and modern medicines are derived from wild plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. Medicinal plants are used by an estimated 80% of the population and the importance of the role of traditional healers is increasingly recognized.
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
Mozambique has extended the surface of protected areas from about 11% to about 15% of its national territory. New conservation areas have been established such as Quirimbas National Park for marine and coastal ecosystems and Limpopo Transfrontier National Park. Several areas have been designated as being under special protection including, Marromeu Complex, Maputoland Centre of Endemism, Mountains Chimanimani and Namuli.
Percentage of Forest Cover
According to the satellite images of the 1994 National Inventory on Forest, about 62 million hectares (78% of National territory) of different forest and density types were registered. But, from this number, only about 19 million hectares are eligible for timber production and commercial volume is estimated at 22 cubic meters. Nevertheless forest degradation was estimated at 4.27%. However, due to the growing national population and a lack of survival means, forestry activities have increased pressure on forestlands and at present, the rate may be much higher. There are also increased pressures from uncontrolled logging and bush fires. Poverty still remains the major cause of natural resource degradation, in particular biodiversity.