Mozambique’s compliance of International Agreements Internationally, Mozambique acknowledges and adheres to international efforts aimed at ensuring environmental sustainability. Some of them include:
The Vienna Convention on the protection of the ozone layer;
The UNFCCC - ratified in August 25th 1995;
The Kyoto Protocol (As a non-Annex I Party),
The Montreal Protocol on the substances that destroy the ozone layer and the respective London and Copenhagen amendments;
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD);
The Nairobi Convention for the protection, management and development of the East African marine and coastal areas;
The Basel Convention on the control of trans-border movements of dangerous residuals and their elimination;
The Bamako Convention on the prohibition of importation of dangerous waste and the control of trans-border movements of such waste in Africa;
The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015;
The Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) - ratified in 21st of April 1997 and
The Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA).
Within the framework of the UNFCCC, Mozambique has prepared its First National Communication in 2003 the National Plan for Capacity Building in the context of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol and the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) in 2007. Other cross-cutting measures include: Strategy and Plan of Action for Biodiversity, Strategy and Plan of Action to prevent and control fires, Strategy and Plan of Action to prevent and control erosion, National Action Plan to Combat Drought and Desertification. Furthermore, according to MICOA (2003), under the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Mozambique is commencing its second National Communication to the UNFCCC secretariat. Regarding this subject, it is important to assess climate vulnerability and adaptation options for those sectors not included in the first National Communication, e.g., health, education and fisheries, but that are important for the implementation of the NAPA.
The examples below show how four countries (Malawi, Mauritania, Sierra Leone and Niger), have integrated gender concerns in their NAPAs in support to women empowerment. While Malawi, Mauritania and Niger are mainstreaming women’s concerns and needs in their projects and programmes, Sierra Leone, with a different approach, is working on climate change sensitization campaigns addressing adaptation mechanisms.
Examples of Good Practices in Engendering NAPAs In Malawi, women’s NGOs were consulted during the preparation of the NAPA, and gender is one of eight criteria for selecting projects. Proposed interventions include the empowerment of women through access to microfinance, ensuring easier access to water and energy sources, and a rural electrification programme. Three priority activities (out of five) will disaggregate beneficiaries by age and sex and six interventions will pave the way to empower women:
“The most vulnerable groups are rural communities, especially women, children, female-headed households and the elderly. The proposed interventions include: (i) improved early warning systems (ii) recommended improved crop varieties, (iii) recommended improved livestock breeds, and (iv) improved crop and livestock management practices.”– Malawi NAPA, p. ix
Mauritania acknowledges that women are guardians of vital local and traditional knowledge and that they need to be recognized as key stakeholders in the consultation and decision-making processes (even though they have not been represented in great numbers). Mauritania’s first approved project for implementation states that:
“The programme’s objective is to improve the incomes and living conditions of the target group, women and young people, in a sustainable manner by developing seven agricultural value chains.”15 In Niger’s NAPA, women are beneficiaries of three livestock/crop farming projects, one of which includes women’s land use and ownership as one of the activities. Women were one of the four ‘concentric circles’ of stakeholders/actors that were involved in national consultations.
Sierra Leone prepared its NAPA with one of the activities being sensitization campaigns on the impacts of climate change on women as well as their training on adaptation mechanisms. The document also considers the inclusion of women and children as a pre-condition for project sustainability.
Source: WEDO UNFPA (2009) Resource Kit Climate Change Connections: Gender, Population and Climate Change.
In 2004, Mozambique adopted a new Constitution in which the Government of Mozambique (GoM) is committed to ensure sustainable development by adopting policies and promoting initiatives that guarantee the ecological balance, conservation and preservation of the environment, aimed at improving the quality of life of its citizens.
The constitution also follows the principles of universality and gender equality (Constituição da República de Moçambique, Article 117). To pursue these objectives, the GoM has made efforts towards integrating climate concern in national development planning as demonstrated in PARPA II, the current 5-Year Plan and Agenda 2025 (GoM, 2003, 2005, 2006a). These are assisted by a good collection of legal instruments including:
The National Environment Policy (1995), the National Environment Programme (1996) and the Environment Frame Law (Law nº 20/97 of 01 of October) that were created to systematically integrate environmental aspects in development;
The Energy Policy adopted in 1995, which aims, on one hand, to increase the feasibility and access to low cost supply of several forms of energy and on the other hand, foresees the development of conservation technologies and environmental beneficial use of energy. The policy also stipulates the reduction in the consumption of wood-based fuels;
The National Land Policy and its implementation strategies approved in 1996 and the Land Law (Law nº 19/97, of 1 of October), which ensure that the population have access to the land resources and participate in the management of such resources, for their sustainability and socially equitable use;
The National Policy on Forest and Wildlife, adopted in 1997, which aims to manage forest and wildlife resources, underlining the need for their sustainable use;
The Policy on Disaster Management adopted in 1999 that aims at the elimination of poverty and establishment of a contingency plan in view of the recurring occurrence of natural disasters that affect the country’s social and economic development;
The National Agricultural Policy, Transports and Communication Law, commerce liberalization, access to health services and to potable water.
In recent years, Mozambique has made encouraging strides in reducing its poverty levels and is making gradual progress towards benchmarks set by the National Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).10
The PARPA II defines its strategy around three pillars of Governance, Human Capital and Economy and Development. The strategy includes eight crosscutting issues, namely (i) demining, (ii) environment, (iii) HIV/AIDS, (iv) gender, (v) food and nutritional security, (vi) science and technology, (vii) rural development and (viii) disaster risk management. The inclusion of disaster risk management highlights the need, as a development priority, for long-term planning to reduce the vulnerability of communities and infrastructure exposed to negative natural phenomena.
In line with the HFA and the PARPA II, the Council of Ministers approved the National Master Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (PDPMCN) in October 2006, a ten-year strategy aimed at strengthening capacity to mitigate the impact of frequent natural disasters in Mozambique.
Its main focus of PDPMCN is reforms and improvements in the dryland development programmes (water resource management, agricultural intensification and diversification and alternative livelihoods), and emergency preparedness management, (including the creation of national early warning, preparedness and response frameworks and systems).
According to a recent (2010) UN Country Team’s report11 the underlying causes of Mozambique’s chronic vulnerability to disasters can be summarized as:
(i) Weak infrastructure for basic services:“Progress towards achieving the MDGs and IADG’s in Mozambique has not followed a consistent trend. In fact, despite very positive growth rates observed over the last decade, poverty, especially in rural areas, remains stubbornly widespread at 54 %, as does income inequality with a Gini coefficient at 47.1. The majority of the population (70%) lives in the rural areas, and four-fifths of Mozambicans (about 81%) depend on agriculture, and out of these, about 90% rely on subsistence agriculture) for their livelihood. This, combined with the lack of access to basic services, means that poverty in rural areas remains chronic.“
(ii) The rapidly escalating HIV/AIDS pandemic that is weakening national capacities and considerably slowing down the rate of development:“A key constraint to achieving the MDGs and IADG’s is the HIV and AIDS pandemic which disproportionally affects more women and girls than men and boys. Reducing the spread of this disease, and establishing proper treatment for those already infected by accelerating access to diagnosis and care, will be a major contributor to Mozambique remaining on track.”.12 As a result, the impact of frequent natural disasters can have an exponential effect, including the disruption of livelihoods and services, the over-stretching of limited coping mechanisms and the exacerbation of population vulnerabilities. As much as 25% of Mozambique’s population faces a high mortality risk from natural hazards, and it ranks as the second most geographically exposed country in Africa.
According to the PDPMCN’s document, Mozambique and its population are highly vulnerable to the following natural disasters:
Floods - Flooding is a regular seasonal phenomenon along the seven major rivers that cross Mozambique (Zambezi, Limpopo, Incomati, Licungo, Save, Buzi and Pungue). INGC estimated that 54 districts across the country are vulnerable to seasonal flooding, and this has the potential to impact over 340,000 people. In fact, in the rainy season 2000/2001, Mozambique experienced its worst floods in 50 years, which resulted in the death of 650 people and the displacement of 540,000 others.
Cyclones - With its extensive coastline Mozambique is often affected by cyclones and tropical storms that enter the Mozambican Channel from the Indian Ocean. INGC reported that since 1970, the country has been affected by 32 significant cyclones or tropical depressions
Earthquakes - Mozambique falls on the southern edge of the East African Rift Valley, although seismic activity is not frequent in this area. In this way, INGC has identified earthquake preparedness as a priority for contingency planning.
Drought - Is the most frequent natural disaster that occurs every three to four years. Drought conditions are relatively chronic in the southern and central regions of Mozambique, and account for a large part of the vulnerability in the country due to their impact on food security and livelihoods. The main problem is that affected populations do not have sufficient time to recover from the economic and social impacts provoked by droughts between one cycle and the next.
Gender mainstreaming and Mozambique DRR&EP Institutional framework
There is a strong and growing political will to improve management of disaster risk reduction in Mozambique. Efforts undertaken in recent years indicate a shift from disaster response and recovery to disaster preparedness, risk management and long-term vulnerability reduction strategies and the institutions created for that purpose have been making efforts to support the population through DRR&EP and CCH mitigation and adaptation programs and policies.
The Mozambican coordination mechanisms for DRR&EP comprise the following institutions13
Disaster Management Coordinating Council (CCGC) and Disaster Management Technical Council (CTGC) The CCGC is an organ of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and is the highest coordinating body for disaster risk management in the country. It is composed of ten ministers and is chaired by the prime minister. Its primary objective is to ensure multi-sectoral coordination for disaster prevention, assistance to victims and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructures. The CCGC is a political decision-making organ, advised by the Technical Council for Disaster Management (CTGC), which is comprised of National directors from the ministries represented in the CCGC. The CTGC is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the CCGC, being chaired by the general director of INGC. Besides government officials, the CTGC includes representatives from the Mozambique Red Cross (CVM), from the UN agencies, from other international organizations and from NGO’s that operate within the disaster management and humanitarian frameworks.
The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) INGC is the government body with primary responsibility for coordinating natural disaster plans, policies and interventions. 14The institute is under the Minister who oversees the area of State Administration (currently MAE, the Ministry of State Administration) and its core strategies, plans and activities address vulnerability reduction and emergency planning and response.
As regards to structures that intervenes directly to vulnerability reduction, INGC is organized at central level as follows:
Prevention and Mitigation National Directorate (DPM), responsible for early warning and preparedness against all kinds of disasters in all vulnerable parts of the country;
Development of Arid and Semi-Arid Zones National Directorate (DARIDAS), responsible for long-term development actions against drought in the 30 districts classified as semi-arid or arid.
National Civil Protection Unit (UNAPROC), that is in charge for search and rescue operations during disasters, in order to save human lives.
Office for the coordination of reconstruction (GACOR), in charge for coordinating post-disasters operations towards developing safe resettlement areas for people displaced as a result of natural disasters.
To complement this structure, in selected dry land districts, INGC is establishing the District Multiple Use Resource Centers (CERUM), which has the task of training the communities towards living positively with drought (ensuring their livelihoods while at the same time preserving their environment).
To ensure effectiveness of its national prevention and response efforts have, INGC has established a central National Emergency Operations Centre (CENOE) in Maputo and 3 regional CENOEs in Caia (Central region), Vilankulos (Southern region) and Nacala (Northern region). To complement the coordination efforts of the various CENOEs, province and district level operational bases (Emergency Operations Centres - COE) are being established.
Regarding the role of INGC, with the end of the war, the government decided that, under PARPA II, medium to long-term prevention activities against natural disasters should be developed. This led to the approval of the National Disaster Management Policy in 1999, with a proactive approach focused on a more holistic process that addresses a variety of disaster risks, rather than on individual disaster events. Under this context, an effective contingency planning process, with a dedicated budget for contingency activities under the coordination of INGC was put in place. Later, a Master Plan for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Disasters (PDPMCN) was developed to cover the period 2006 – 2016. Under the command of this plan, the country is pushing towards being in permanent disaster preparedness, with the ability of resisting and responding to the effects of natural disasters.
Despite the existence of a comprehensive National Disaster Management Policy and of the Master Plan for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Disasters, a national disaster’s management law has not yet been ratified and as a result, in some cases, the roles and responsibilities of the different government departments in disaster management are not yet clearly defined.
INGC is the leading government agency in DRR in Mozambique; however disaster preparedness and prevention actions are also undertaken through the Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Action (MICOA), the Ministry of Health (MISAU) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG). MISAU and MINAG do develop emergency response plans for specific disasters (disease outbreaks; drought or floods) are engaged in disaster prevention and mitigation activities and make efforts to coordinate among each other. Nevertheless, as the coordination is not able to yield enough results regarding disaster preparedness and prevention these institutions must work together with other emergency and disaster risk reduction stakeholders to achieve a more effective coordinated approach using existing inter-ministerial processes and developing cooperation forums.
The Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Action (MICOA)15 The environmental policy defined by the Mozambican government contains strategic objectives which take (i) environmental management as a factor for the eradication of poverty; (ii) participatory and community management of the environment; and (iii) a regional and global perspective on environmental problems.
MICOA is the government agency with responsibility for overall coordination of government activities in the environment domain. It was created in 1994 (by Presidential Decree 2/94) and has as main functions (established by Presidential Decree 6/95): (i) the promotion of conservation and sustainable use of the country’s natural resource base, and (ii) the promotion of environmental policies and strategies to be integrated into sectoral development plans.
MICOA is the institution responsible for promoting inter-sectoral coordination and to indulge an appropriate planning and utilization of natural resources in Mozambique. MICOA is structured around six areas of intervention: (i) inter-sectoral coordination, (ii) research, planning and environmental management, (iii) territorial planning, (iv) environmental impact assessment, (v) environmental education and dissemination, and (vi) inspection and control
MICOA is a coordination - not an implementation agency and does not have the mandate to implement directly activities. Its mandate is to coordinate environmental actions carried out by other sectoral ministries. As such, MICOA works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) through the Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN – the body responsible for coordinating the implementation of the National Food Security and Nutrition Strategy, SAN), the Ministry of State Administration, through INGC, the Mozambique Red Cross (CVM) that provides immediate assistance to vulnerable people during and immediately after natural disasters, and with other relevant institutions such as Eduardo Mondlane University as a research institution. These institutions integrate several inter-institutional groups led by MICOA whose main task is to impel the implementation of existing legislation and actions. MICOA has the responsibility of monitoring compliance with obligations under the UNFCCC and other Rio conventions.
This seems to be the only government institution that up to June 2010 had developed a Strategy and Plan of Action for Gender, Environment and Climate Change addressing the issue in a broad but concrete manner. The document defines priorities that are related to other national plans and programs dealing with environment issues. The gender strategy focuses on environment and climate change impacts on social, economic, political and cultural changes that will gradually contribute to modify women’s and men’s behaviors towards more equitable relations. This document centres its attention on the sustainable use of natural resources and its linkage with poverty eradication and men’s and women’s access and control over natural resources, as well as of climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies. On the other hand it must be mentioned that the Gender Strategy and Action Plan for the Agriculture Sector also includes among its strategic areas “access to and control over natural and productive resources” but its overall goal is mainly oriented to achieve food security.
The PDPMCN is the only DRR strategy document that addresses agricultural development activities under disaster risk conditions, but limited to aiming drought vulnerability reduction at local level in the Arid and semi-arid areas. Even though it is technically well prepared, the PDPMCN lacks gender mainstreaming, in such a way to allow implementation of agricultural activities in drought prone areas with close application of social equity mechanisms. Therefore, it is advised that coordination between Gender Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Plan of Action, Gender Strategy and Action Plan for the Agriculture Sector and Master Plan for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation strategic documents should be strongly considered when planning and implementing agricultural based activities.
The Plan Of Action highlights the linkage between environment, climate change, gender equality and poverty eradication guided by several principles such as equity, non discriminatory, citizens participation in natural resources benefits and management, sustainable development, and mitigation/adaptation as a learning process.
Ministry of Women and Social Action (MMAS)
MMAS was created in 2000 with the main objective of accompanying the implementation of gender policies and programmes approved by the Government. In the same year the National Directorate of Women (DNM) was created. In 2004, the Council of Ministers created the National Council for the Advancement of Women (CNAM) as a consultative body of MMAS.
The CNAM has two organs: the Executive Secretariat and the Technical Council with gender focal points assigned to each ministry that have gender units16. Within the context of the decentralization process and the strengthening of the local authorities17, the Provincial Directorates of Women and Social Action have an Executive Secretariat and a Technical Council. At district level, MMAS is represented by the District Services of Health, Women and Social Action (SDSMAS) whose objective is to implement health services and women’s and social activities as well as promoting actions that contribute to gender equality. In 2004, the GoM approved the Family Law, an instrument which brings about the need to uplift women and promote gender equality. The guidelines of gender actions in Mozambique are contained in the Gender Politics and its Implementation Strategy (Política de Género e Estratégia de Implementação - PGEI) approved in 2007. They can also be found in the Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty 2006-2009 (PARPA II) and in the National Plan for the Advancement of Women (PNAM - 2007-2009). The GoM’s National Gender Policy aims at equality in participation and access for both women and men, recognizing their role pertaining to national sustainable development objectives. Its principles are based on the promotion and strengthening of both women and men at all levels and at women’s empowerment. This policy clearly states the need to guarantee use, access and tenure over natural resources by women, to promote the legal mechanisms for control tenure and heritage systems and to enhance the capacity of women on environmental management and conservation. The implementation strategy defines its activities in the following areas: socio-cultural (activities oriented towards preventive reproductive health) political (enhance women’s participation in the political arena) economic (implementation of poverty eradication policies and promotion of women’s employment), juridical (develop gender units in the government structures and promote women’s participation in the judiciary system) and security. MMAS as a coordinating institution is responsible for providing the guidelines to line Ministries to apply gender mainstreaming in their activities.