Coastal livelihoods in the republic of mozambique

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The Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems (ASCLME) project is focused on the two large marine ecosystems of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, covering nine countries that are directly influenced by these current systems. It is estimated that at least fifty-six million people are reliant either directly or indirectly on the goods and services provided by these two current systems. The ASCLME project aims to support these countries in their efforts to collectively manage the marine resources on which their people and economies depend. Fisheries and other key coastal activities, including various forms of tourism, aquaculture, shipping and coastal transport, the energy sector, agriculture and forestry, are very important contributors to the economies of the countries of the WIO. In recognition of the complexity and importance of these activities, a Coastal Livelihoods Assessment (CLA) component was developed for the ASCLME project.

The CLA component had three main objectives:

  • to collect as much existing information as possible about the main coastal activities in the nine participating countries as a contribution to the national Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analyses (MEDAs);

  • to make input into ensuring that this information is stored and organised in a manner that will allow easy access and maximum utility to multiple stakeholders, both during and after the lifetime of the ASCLME Project;

  • to review and sythesise the information collected in order to provide useful inputs to the TDA and SAP processes.

In order to achieve these objectives, the CLA component was separated into three distinct phases, with the first phase kicking off in May 2009. During phase one, a “desktop” review of available data was conducted by the regional project coordinators, input was made into the design of a literature management tool to facilitate the storage of information, and preparations were made for the in-country data gathering process. Planning meetings were held between the core CLA team and the in-country Data and Information (D+I) Coordinators in August 2009. The processes involved in the in-country component of recruitment and data gathering was discussed and confirmed at this stage.

Phase two involved in-country personnel having been identified and recruited through a regionally inclusive recruitment process. Nominations were invited and received from country focal points and D+I Coordinators. Twenty three consultants were recruited to assist with the project. For some sectors international experts (drawn from the region where possible) were asked to provide information for all countries in the region while in others, where good local capacity existed, in-country consultants were recruited. This group of consultants collected information from existing resources, such as published articles, government reports, regional reviews, project reports and outputs, policy documents as well as a range of other grey literature that was likely to be useful.

Phase three involved the organisation of the information into country Coastal Livelihood Reports where individual sector reports have been assessed and the key elements from each sector extracted and presented in a summarised format. These country reports will be reviewed by project representatives in each country and once accepted, will be incorporated as a separate Coastal Livelihoods chapter in the overall country MEDA documents. It is anticipated that the information collated in these reports will allow examples of best-practice to be identified for application in other parts of the region. The objective is to build on approaches that work rather than to duplicate efforts. Information gaps will be identified and addressed in subsequent phases of the ASCLME, including during a Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) exercise designed to weigh up the costs and benefits of various development options. Key information from these reports will feed into the CBA and hopefully provide useful guidelines for the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and the development of Strategic Action Plans (SAP) for the overall ASCLME project.

The following country report begins with an overview of coastal livelihoods in Mozambique, which provides a concise overview of the seven sector reports and the findings of the in-country and regional consultants. This overview ends with a conclusion which summarizes the collected information as it relates to the coastal zone in Mozambique in general. This overview is followed by the more detailed sector reports, which represent the original contributions by the in-country and regional consultants. The sectors are organized in the following order: Small-scale Fisheries, Tourism, Mariculture, Agriculture and Forestry, Energy, Ports and Coastal Transport and Coastal Mining.

Each sector report has been prepared by specialists in that particular sector drawn either from the country or internationally. Sector reports have been prepared according to a pre-determined template to ensure that the relevant aspects of that sector were captured by the consultants. Reports include descriptive sections on the biophysical environment, human environment, policy and governance, planning and management, and development, trade and projects related to that sector. Each report is concluded with a SWOT analysis which provides a summary of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing that sector. It is the outputs of these SWOT analyses that are of particular importance to the strategic planning aspects of the overall ASCLME project. These reports were initially submitted to the regional coordinators for review and have subsequently been corrected and updated by the consultants themselves.

Finally, each sector report has a bibliography containing key references and links to relevant information. Full details of the information resources collected during compilation of each sector report, as well as electronic copies of literature (where available), are included in the overall ASCLME reference management system.


I. Small-Scale Fisheries

Comprising of subsistence, semi-industrial and artisanal fishing, the small-scale fishery in Mozambique employs over 351,700 people, 2% of which are women, and accounts for 93% of the country's total marine catch, 91% of which is caught by the subsistence and artisanal fishers and 2% by the semi-industrial sub-sector. Income levels in the small-scale fisheries are largely dependent on position within the sector, whereby, three broad positions are classified in the report; Boat and gear owners, crew (employees) and fishers fishing by foot/collectors. Income in the sector is also dependent on region and subsequently distances to market.

Many structural constraints are apparent in the sector. For example, weak infrastructure has negatively affected processing, trade and the broader commercialization of the small-scale fishery's products. Credit and financial services are also weak, which again affects trade and innovation in the sector. Similarly, inadequate capacity at the national and local level has reduced surveillance, regulation and data collection in the sector, while high levels of poverty and a lack of employment alternatives has placed pressure on coastal resources, subsequently resulting in environmental degradation. There are, however a host of strengths and opportunities that can be capitalized upon to mitigate these constraints. For example, the potential for aquaculture could help stimulate alternative income streams and reduce over-exploitation, while the international demand for fish products should provide incentive to further develop the sector. Likewise, strategies for credit concession, along with the availability of new technologies, should expand the sector's overall competitiveness.

It is also promising to note the commitment to decentralization and co-management being displayed by the government. For example, in the artisanal fishery, the issuing and charging of licenses, as well as the collection of fines, is now being managed by district administrators. Likewise, co-management committees have integrated local chiefs from fishing villages into the administrative process as a means to sustain traditional management techniques. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the actual rate of law enforcement is no more than 50% in the entire sector, and less than 10% in rural areas, 75% of the entire fisheries sector is still governed by the Ministry of Fisheries. There is therefore opportunity to further strengthen the decentralization process in the fisheries sector.

II. Tourism

Tourism contributed an estimated 3.2% to GDP in 2003, employing an estimated 356,000 people. With nearly 76.8% of total tourist expenditure coming from Africa-based residents, South Africa and the SADC region represent the biggest source markets, making up an estimated 51% of total arrivals. On average, tourists spend five nights in the country, spending an estimated $45.00 USD daily. Nevertheless, despite the sector’s growing importance in the Mozambican economy, little empirical data and information is currently available.

Several constraints have been identified in the sector which could slow down growth in the future. For example, revenue leakages, which are common in many African tourism markets, have become highly constrictive to local development, as the majority of goods and services purchased in the sector are outsourced. Weak capacity is also problematic for the sector, as it not only negatively affects infrastructure and planning, but it also often severely constrains the implementation of policies that could potentially improve the sector. Likewise, the country’s poor business environment, its vulnerability to climate change and the prevalence of several low quality investment projects have all been highlighted as threats to the sector, while the informal nature of value-added businesses in the sector continue to make it difficult for the government to both monitor and recover taxes.

There are, however, many strengths and opportunities that are apparent in the sector. For example, the country’s spectacular natural attributes, extensive bio-diversity and rich traditional culture are all comparative advantages that should accentuate the sector moving forward. Similarly, the lure of bush-beach tourism in the south, along with the country’s well developed recreational diving industry, are both strengths that could be built upon in the future. There are also opportunities to develop vocational training and entrepreneurism within the sector, which could both be utilized as a means to formally integrate local communities into tourist-based activities. The government’s commitment to both decentralization and private sector-driven sustainable development should also support growth and change in the sector in the coming years. Thus, if greater coordination and participation can be instilled in the sector, and combined with more effective policy implementation, tourism has the potential to continue to grow and benefit local communities for years to come.

III. Mariculture

Mariculture employs 2,000 people in commercial seaweed farming, 80% of whom are women, and 1,000 people in commercial prawn farming, and is thus a strong developing sector in the Mozambican economy. There are also experimental projects underway in finfish and mudcrab, which highlight the opportunities for further development in the sector. The country's high quality seawater, its ideal environment for prawn farming, along with its large areas identified as suitable for mariculture development, should only accentuate these growing opportunities.

Like all developing sectors, however, there are constraints that challenge further development. For example, limited infrastructure for research and development in the sector has constricted technological growth for farmers. Similarly, the lack of available hatchery facilities and seed has constrained small-scale development, while a lack of marketing experience in aquaculture and strong international competition in prawn farming has made further market access difficult. Theft and vandalism, as well corruption at the provincial level, also highlight the challenges apparent in the sector.

In many cases, these constraints are nevertheless meager considering the strengths and opportunities prevalent in the sector. For example, an investor friendly environment, the potential for diversification into new species, the opportunities for the development of an industrialised prawn and marine finfish culture sub-sector, as well as national departments willing to support the sector, all highlight the potential inherent in mariculture moving forward. Although there are currently inadequate training and support services, the development of a realistic and achievable mariculture development plan by the governing authorities could assist in ensuring that these opportunities in the sector are realised.

IV. Agriculture and Forestry

Contributing 22.5% to GDP in 2005 and between 10% and 15% of total exports, agricultural and forestry is clearly a huge facet of the Mozambican economy. Cassava and Maize represent 50% of the value of production and it has been estimated that a 20% increase in output in these staples could potentially reduce poverty by 19%. Livestock has also become an important source of income, with 31% of households utilizing it as a source of income in 2002, an increase of 17% from 1996. The sector has, however, receded in recent years, most evident in the fact that 42% of households received some income from non-farm enterprises in 2002. This drop in production has been attributed to the development of aluminium exports, along with the increase in other large export projects since 2000.

Environmental degradation and the over-exploitation of natural resources has become a problem in the country's coastal zone, largely a result of a combination of variables including poverty, a lack of alternative employment and population pressure. For example, the utilization of cropping, as well as firewood and charcoal production, to supply urban centers has resulted in extensive deforestation of coastal forests. Mangrove forests have also been over-exploited and converted into other land uses that generate higher returns, such as real estate and even garbage dumps, resulting in nearly 15,000 HA being degraded across seven provinces. The government has, however, taken many steps to reverse this over-exploitation. For example, decentralization and community level management are being utilized as a means to promote the sustainable use of resources in the coastal zone. Likewise, current forestry policy aims to not only incentivize the use of secondary species, but also promote the rehabilitation and effective conservation of protected areas in the coastal zone. Similarly, in planning and management, the report also noted that there is a common perception in Mozambique that to alleviate pressure on coastal resources alternative streams of income have to be provided, which is a positive and realistic assessment of the current situation.

Overall, there is clearly an acknowledgment by stakeholders and government of the importance of the sustainable use of coastal resources in relation to promoting employment and alleviating poverty. Despite the lack of capacity and knowledge of resource management at the community level, support from NGO's, as well as a commitment to participatory resource management, highlight the positives moving forward. While an over-dependence on tourism could become problematic and a strong South African economy may facilitate outward investment, Mozambique's rich and extensive resource base, along with the country's commitment to conserving its forests, should allow the sector to reach its potential in the future.

V. Energy

Activities in oil and biofuels are currently limited, with only natural gas being produced from twelve wells at the Pande/Temane gas fields. The field’s present capacity is 120 mill GJ/year (3 billion cu.m/yr), with the government accruing 5% of the revenue from production. The downstream oil industry is dependent on imports to the ports in Maputo, Beira, and Nacala, all of which provide a supply corridor to adjacent, landlocked countries. The country has one processing facility in Temane, along with three pipeline routes, two of which are gas pipelines with links both to domestic customers as well as to South Africa, while one oil pipeline is linked to Zimbabwe. Mozambique is considered to have the largest biofuels production potential in Africa, but no commercial activities have yet been initiated.

Many constraints have been identified in the sector, possibly limiting development in the sector. For example, weak capacity at Temane processing plant has been highlighted as a constraining factor impacting on the expansion of gas extraction and exportation, while the country’s limited capacity to exploit its own natural resources has also been identified as a weakness. The dominant position of the private-sector (investors) in relation to government and local communities has also been documented as a weakness, while the lack of social and environmental concerns in emerging-market companies has been identified as a threat. It is also likely that increases in oil and gas activity will increase the threat of spills, while a failure to comply with domestic regulation, particularly in biofuels companies, has also been documented as a potential threat.
Numerous strengths and opportunities have, however, been identified in the sector, many of which could open up new opportunities for employment in the coastal zone. For example, two oil refineries, port and storage upgrades, as well as three new pipeline projects, are all currently being planned and/or appraised. The government also developed a national biofuels strategy in 2009, which is not only being supported by the African Development Bank and DFID, but has also led to two biofuel projects being planned in Gaza and Manica respectively. Biofuels development in Mozambique is also under international scrutiny, which means the sector could benefit from ‘best practices’ support, while land availability, the strategic geographic position of country, as well as the presence of knowledgeable NGOs, have all been identified as great strengths in the sector. Thus, if the respective opportunities in oil, gas and biofuels can be realized and civil society can become more involved in extractive industry activities, it is likely that the sector will provide great benefits to Mozambican coastal communities in the near future.

VI. Ports and Coastal Transport

An extensive coastline, along with ten documented ports, highlights the strength and promise of coastal transport in Mozambique. Traditionally, the government played a large role in the administration of ports, however, since the end of civil conflict in 1992, reforms to introduce joint ventures into the transport system has facilitated rapid reconstruction and development in the sector, with the ports of Maputo, Beira and Nacala now all effectively operated by private-sector port operators. Reconstruction of rail services that were destroyed in civil conflict have also facilitated growth in trade with South Africa and further rehabilitation could expand cargo exports from the DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, which could be beneficial to both coastal economies and the agriculture sector.

Due to its low lying coastal plain, most of the ports have, however, developed in shallow bays and estuaries, which poses problems in handling large deepsea vessels. Corruption and interference in private-sector operations have also become problematic, while a lack of training institutions and a weak manufacturing sector may also pose challenges to the sector moving forward. Despite these constraints, the efficiency resulting from the privatization of the ports, along with the transformation of customs procedures and increased investment in the sector, highlight the promise of ports and coastal transport in the country.

As a whole, the sheer scale of the country's coastline magnifies the importance of ports in Mozambique, particularly as a means to develop trade and grow economically. The country's extensive natural resource base, along with the opportunities for mining development, could potentially facilitate this growth even further, which will, in turn, have great benefits for coastal communities, particularly between Beira and Nacala. While dependence on foreign capital and the potential for South Africa to obstruct transport access to Gauteng could become problematic, the opportunities for development in the sector and the subsequent spillovers this could have in coastal regions, highlights both the economic significance of the sector, as well as the numerous positives inherent in the sector moving forward.

VII. Coastal Mining

Producing aluminum, titanium, zircon, rutile and sand from dunes, mining is one of Mozambique's fastest growing sectors, representing 1.6% of total GDP in 2006 with investments increasing from $101 million USD in 2004 to $804 million USD in 2008. All the aforementioned minerals, with the exception of sand from dunes which is mainly an artisanal practice, are also being produced for export, making the sector a vital source of foreign exchange and an essential means of facilitating economic growth. The processing of alumina in the Mozal aluminum smelter alone accounts for over half of the country’s export earnings. In the coastal zone, only the Moma mine is currently operational.

Many of the mines are also being utilized to develop the communities within which they operate. For example, the Moma Mine has facilitated the development of the Moma Development Association, which is not only promoting the provision of secondary employment opportunities, but also contributing to the development of schools, health care and financial services for rural communities. Similarly, Mozal smelter production has led to the creation of the Mozal Community Development Trust, which has contributed to health care, education, housing projects and training programs for local communities. The government has also been a positive actor in the sector, particularly evident in the development of public-private partnerships, which have been crucial in the reconstruction of infrastructure, as well as in it's commitment to strong environmental regulation in the mining sector.

As a whole, while the sector has been a very positive asset for the country, there are constraints evident. One of the more challenging aspects is the potential for Mozambique to fall victim to the 'resource curse', whereby, the influx of investment around the mining sector could facilitate the appreciation of the metical, which has the potential to make all other sectors uncompetitive and, thus, reduce overall economic growth. A lack of coastal zone management, as well as a lack of attention being focused on non-mining provinces, also highlights some of the challenges surrounding the sector. Nevertheless, the opportunities for further growth in employment, the potential for gold and coal production in Tete, as well as technology transfers and greater NGO involvement, all highlight the great positives moving forward.

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