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Over logging threatens key forest in Angola's Cabinda

The Mayombe forest stretches across four southwestern African countries and is part of the Congo Jungle, the second largest in the world after the Amazon   -  
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Angola

The Mayombe forest is at risk of being over logged. This biodiversity-rich area of 36,000 square kilometers stretches across four southwestern African countries and is part of the Congo Jungle, the second largest in the world after the Amazon.

The quality of the wood that comes out of here is unquestionable. Some of it stays in Cabinda, more specifically from the municipality of Buco-Zau to other parts of Angola, but the majority is exported. The concern now is about the damage to the forest after the wood is harvested.

Wood is Cabinda's second-most important resource after oil. But local authorities fear that the region's forests are being overexploited.

"There is no plan to repopulate the forest. The logging companies just take all the wood out and never replace the trees. They just cut, cut, cut. They plant nothing," said José Puaty, a forest ranger.

The largest timber company operating in the Angolan enclave, Abílio de Amorim, says it is aware of the problem and has taken measures to ensure sustainable logging.

"We are back to planting trees again. In fact we have some nurseries to start growing trees," said bílio Nunes, the manager of Abílio de Amorim.

The company produces about 200 cubic metres a day, majority of which is shipped abroad.

In the European Union, imports of tropical wood will reach a ten-year high in 2022.

José Kundy reports from Cabinda

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