The Rise and Fall of Plantation Forestry in Northern Mozambique
37 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2022
In the last two decades, Mozambique’s plantation forestry has witnessed several twists, which was driven by domestic and global changes. However, empirical evidence on the governance issues that account for a bleak plantation forestry future in Mozambique are lacking. This paper explores the governance issues that militate for the rise and fall in plantation forestry in northern Mozambique. We conducted an interview with forest experts deeply informed about a decade and a half of plantation development in northern Mozambique, using 2005 as the baseline year. We then proceed with an explorative case study of two operational companies in the Niassa province: The Florestas do Niassa (now, Build It) and Green Resources. We found strong evidence of a decline in the forest sector in northern Mozambique, linked to the following governance issues: i) lack of flexibility, clarity and delay on the part of Mozambican Government to issue the land title (DUAT’s); ii) Increase in forest fires, perpetrated by rural people who provided land for the plantations, but were dissatisfied with the unfair distribution of the benefits from afforestation projects; iii) Poor infrastructures, especially road accessibility; iv) lack of skilled labour as well as v) political instability. Furthermore, the research illustrates how difficult it is to invest in forest tree plantations in Mozambique, despite its high potential and natural competitive advantages for the establishment of commercial plantations.
Keywords: forest fires, forest plantations, forestry governance, land tenure and rural people
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