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Community / Land projects / "Acting for the sustainable use of natural resources"

"Acting for the sustainable use of natural resources"

€0

04/13 - 04/15

Completed

This project is part of

General

Since the democratic process start in Mozambique in 1990, the governmental action has been guided by the objective of fighting against poverty, which affects in several forms, more than half of the population (54.7%) . Through the adoption and implementation of medium-term strategies (PARPAs I and II, the PARP), and guided by the vision of Agenda 2025 and targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Government puts into action its Five-Year Programme, with a view to satisfaction of this objective, through promotion of a stable and inclusive economic growth and the creation of a political environment, favourable legislation and institutional development. While the regular and accelerated growth of the economy is ensured by the implementation of a development model based on mega-projects, all over the country, the political environment, legislative and institutional framework that is intended, is guaranteed by an integrated set of measures, which aimed at effective implementation of the democratic rule of law. Studies and reports on the development and evaluation of progress in poverty reduction in Mozambique, indicate significant progress, the level of access to education and health, and extending the institutional apparatus, but reveal at the same time that the poverty has a tendency of stagnation. The persistence of challenges related to governance mechanisms, combined with factors highlighting gender inequalities, regional disparities, the imperfect systems and mechanisms for management and distribution of wealth, illiteracy and limited access to the formal structures of the state, are consensually cited as the main factors that perpetuate the situation, diluting efforts to overcome the problem of poverty. And although the government is guided by a participatory principle, based on creation and institutionalization of spaces for interaction with citizens (Local Councils, Development Observatories) to facilitate their involvement in the affairs of public life and in the process of development in equal circumstances, the poorest, especially in rural areas, where the mega-projects are implemented, remain marginalized and outside the process around it. In Niassa, with ecological, geological and climatic conditions, the implementation of mega projects model-based development, translates into a process of transfer of land from the people to the hand of national and foreign investors, to make way for the promotion of large-scale agriculture (especially monoculture), the establishment of forestry projects that now occupy about 165.772.80 hectare of land and various mineral extraction (gold, garnet, coal, precious stones, industrial minerals, red granite), the costs lows. A watchful eye on the immediate consequences of this action reveals that problems like encroachment of fertile land, resettlement in distant areas, disregard the law and regulations on land, poor functioning of the institutions of law, absence of social responsibility, among others, a result of accreditation and granting of land for those purposes, greatly messes with the livelihoods of communities deteriorate and endanger quality of life of households. That is, the goal of turning Niassa a producer world reference, has focused attention on the volume of investments attracted to the province, transcending and ignoring the spirit of the Constitution and the Land Law of 1997, which take the land as a means of creation wealth and welfare and its use for the benefit and enjoyment of all Mozambicans, in an environment of legality, justice, fairness and transparency. Moreover, although the accelerate growth of the economy of the Niassa Province (in 2006 grew 13% compared to 8% of GDP) is related to the exploration of natural resources and minerals (contributing 29%), the economy of the Province remains predominantly agriculture, which is the main source of employment, which contributes 36% to GDP in the Province, occupying 2.4% of arable land, according to reports the Strategic Plan 2007-2017). The low civic engagement and lack of understanding and awareness of the power and potential on the part of citizens to change the state of things, it appears as the central problem, which inhibits the affected communities to participate in the spaces of negotiation and decision on concessions and to claim respect for their rights and guarantee the enjoyment of real benefits arising from the exploration of natural resources, particularly by women, for reasons that are structural "naturally" excluded processes. The widespread lack of laws, the absence of a culture of oversight of governmental action and poor functioning of institutions, perpetuating the problem, which is also often associated with the inability of civil society (by constraints inherent in their organization, capacity and practice) to explore and capitalize on their credibility and legitimacy to influence desirable, favourable policies and specific agendas of their communities. Different actors (Agencies for Development Cooperation, non-governmental organizations, national and international and government) unfold in initiatives and projects that meet specific objectives linked to promotion of good governance, deepening democracy and strengthening citizenship for the participation of all development. However, many of the interventions appear linked to governmental action, `priority and the proceedings initiated and instituted by the Government, which contributes to the enhancement of the established political power over the construction of active citizenship, considering the problems and needs of specific communities. These interventions are responsible for increasing the level of knowledge and awareness of citizens on the set of their rights, but its exercise remains shy, whichever one relationship from top to bottom, which is not compatible with the effective participation of communities in matters that concern, which makes them unable to discuss and decide favourable conditions and full respect for the right audience that they are enshrined in the relevant legislation relating to consultation, as condition for legitimacy and the transfer of the land concession. As a consequence, the peasant singly or grouped in their structures are not able to secure tenure rights to land and natural resources, a factor of development and social justice. The Province continues as to present a very high index of poverty, when holding a big fountain of natural resource that can also seat the Development.. The districts of Sanga, Lago and Nguama were strategically identified for the implementation of this project, precisely because they constitute potential theatres of conflict over land, thanks to Government expectation (the Prosavana) and the volume of investments made by forestry companies (which occupy 210,000 hectares, according to the PEP) and mass production of monocultures, which need obviously of vast hectares of land. Moreover, there are official records of the predominance of various mineral resources (including gold, garnet, coal, precious stones, industrial minerals, red granite), in all districts including those identified here, especially in Sanga and Lago, as informs the Strategic Plan Niassa (2007-2017). The report of fieldwork, conducted by National Directorate of Land and Forests, under the guidelines of the Prime Minister in September 2010, shows the official recognition of the existence of glaring cases involving companies like Chikweti (Lago and Sanga) Massangulo Society of forests and Niassa (in Nguama) among others, which revealed discrepancies and lack of transparency of procedures for land concessions, disrespect for legacy native forest, irregularities in the transfer of community lands to investors, the disregard for the rules and limits of spatial territorial, usurpation of lands and plantation of fertile lands and conducive to the practice of agriculture, problems of marginalization of communities, among others exiting the dignity of citizens and poorer households, whose subsistence base is agriculture. The project will be implemented in a logical partnership involving three organizations. The Provincial Union of Peasants of Niassa (UPCN), in particular trust will be responsible for sending capabilities to Caritas Lichinga and Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace (CDJP), so that they, endowed with knowledge, tools and methodologies, can promote together the communities in which they work, information activities and training on all the rights attached to land use and the land and provide the assistance necessary for the proper treatment and resolution of emerging problems in communities. These organizations have representative structures in these districts and established relationships with traditional leaders and district governments, confer some legitimacy to operate and a peaceful environment and establish alliances for coordination of efforts with other existing players. The target group are men and women and community groups whose livelihood is based on agriculture. Special attention will be devoted to population segment constituted by women, mainly, the most vulnerable and marginalized in spaces for learning and decision-making on matters that relate to access and land tenure. The project will be implemented in 6 communities of three districts identified by the implementing partners for reason of its vulnerability. This is a pilot project of the governance strategy aligned CAFOD and their program, still in formulation and, as such, is an opportunity to test the responses to those documents for the proposed set of governance problems identified, contributing to the consolidation of efforts made by the hand of other important actors. Specifically, the project aims to: "To help the citizens and poorer households empowered with knowledge, tools and methodologies to access and ownership of land and the benefits of the exploration of natural resources in their respective areas." The objective will be achieved through the satisfaction of the following results: 1. Communities know and have awareness of the rights of use and enjoyment of land ownership and exploration of natural resources; 2. Organizations of civil society beneficiaries of the project, provide assistance in communities' access and land ownership and exploration of natural resources; 3. Informed citizens use the existing mechanisms and to assert their rights of use and enjoyment of land. These results will be fed by a set of training activities and strategic lines defined as informative and addressed to the organizations and beneficiaries of the project partners and identified community groups.