If a tree falls - a short film from the Mozambican forests

Article, 11 March 2011

Behind the beauty of the natural Mozambican forests we hear the ubiquitous sound of the axe. The trees of Mozambique are disappearing at an alarming rate.

This artistic short film by Mike and Sam Goldwater offers a tantalising glimpse into the everyday lives of those whose existence and livelihoods are, in one way or another, dependent on the forests. Forests represent the lifeblood of many Mozambicans - a source of medicine, food and fuel and a haven of biodiversity and wildlife.

But surrounded by the real and present dangers of extreme climate events (droughts and floods) and widespread poverty, forests are increasingly converted to agriculture or used – often unsustainably – to generate income from the sale of fuel wood, charcoal or timber. This drives deforestation. Short-term necessity is likely to result in long-term poverty.

If the new National REDD Strategy being developed within Mozambique is to offer a solution, it will need to engage with, and create incentives for these affected people to do things differently. More sustainable and profitable ways of producing wood energy and construction materials must be found, training needs to be given and the government need to offer support. Experts are working hard to ensure that local people are part of the process, and with stakes this high, there is little margin for error if REDD is to work.

REDD: Protecting climate, forests and livelihoods

Why REDD matters in Mozambique: a story in pictures

South-South REDD: a Brazil-Mozambique initiative

Mike Goldwater



Isilda Nhantumbo
Senior Researcher, Forest Team

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