© WWF / Frederick J. WEYERHAEUSER
Environmental problems in MozambiqueHawksbill Turtle Beach Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
Loss of natural habitatAbout 80% of Mozambique’s population live in rural areas and depend on wood for cooking and for heating of water for domestic use, space heating and drying of foodstuffs.1 This reliance on trees could spell disaster should population levels rise.
Mangroves are being removed and converted into rice farms and salt pans, aquaculture and housing. Further offshore, corals are subjected to destructive fishing practices (e.g. use of fine mesh nets and dynamite).
Illegal and unsustainable wildlife use, and human wildlife conflictIn Mozambique like elsewhere in Africa and Asia, habitat loss is causing humans and wildlife to share increasingly smaller living spaces. Both sides are losing in the conflicts that ensue, such as in and around the Delta of the Zambezi River. There, crocodiles and hippos are coming face to face with humans increasingly often, while poaching and other illegal activities put species in jeopardy.
In some places, such as Quirimbas National Park, there are concerns that current levels of resource use – e.g. sand oysters - may not be sustainable, and are already leading to diminishing harvests of fish and other resources. For local people, this means reduced incomes and increased poverty in the long run.