Angolan environmental authorities are working to prevent the indiscriminate felling of baobabs (scientific name Adansonia), in the region of Sequele, municipality of Cacuaco, province of Luanda, where 1,800 such trees have already been felled.
The information was put forward this Wednesday, during a press conference, by the director of the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (INBAC), Albertina Nzunzi.
The head of this body assigned to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Environment said authorities learned of this fact through a complaint on social media this week, after moving a multisectoral team to the field to verify its veracity.
Albertina Nzunzi said the results of the work revealed that the affected area is extensive, with 1,800 baobab trees, an ancient tree and a national symbol having been felled.
According to the director of INBAC, baobabs are cut down for illegal occupation of land and building houses in this area, where people are hired, at a price that varies between 25,000 kwanzas and 30,000 kwanzas (34 and 41 euros), to cut down trees.
According to Albertina Nzunzi, people are aware of the environmental crime they are committing, but said that “it is more important to have houses than to have a baobab tree standing”.
“We are facing a very serious environmental crime which requires the intervention of the state defense and security organs,” he said, stressing that urgent measures must be taken to save the trees that still exist. .
The phenomenon of the felling of baobabs, she continued, is not new.
In some areas, on the way to Bengo province, in the municipality of Nzeto, province of Zaire, about two years ago, areas granted by the authorities for construction were identified in which the sand around the tree is removed, which falls naturally.
The official pointed out that there had already been an intervention by INBAC to restore the land around the baobab or provide another space. The baobab is one of the oldest trees on the planet, between 1,100 and 2,500 years old.