SEA profile

Updated to: 13 August 2019

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Contact & history

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Country contact on SEA

Direcção de Planificação e Cooperação of MITADER

Rua de Kassuende, 167
Cidade de Maputo
Tel: 823063020 / 21492403
Fax: 21490746

History of SEA

SEA has not yet been legally introduced in Mozambique. However, the Environmental Law requires EIAs for policies, programs and plans that may have significant impacts on the environment ('Activity is any action of public or private initiative related to the usage or exploration of environmental components and the use of technologies or production processes, plans, programmes, legislation or regulation acts, that affect or may affect the environment'). 

In Mozambique there is growing debate regarding the need of introducing the obligation to apply SEA to policies, plans and programs. Although SEA is  legally required in Mozambique as stated in the Environmental Law, there are no regulations in place that help operationalizing SEA. The lack of SEA regulation frequently limits the (monitoring of the) implementation of SEA recommendations. 

The application of SEA in Mozambique started in late 1990s in an ad-hoc manner, with some unsuccessful experiences, most of them related to sector planning, district and municipal land use plans. These include e.g. PROAGRI-1994, Agriculture Reform, Zona costeira de Manhiça, Zona turistica da Costa do Xai Xai, Parque Nacional de Limpopo, Areias pesadas de Chibuto, Arquipelago de Bazaruto-2006 and SEA for road construction projects).

The Government of Mozambique in recognition and aware of the limited capacities of EIA for the management of environmental and social impacts at strategic level, recently has started introducing SEA for sustainable management and utilization of natural resources for policies, plans and programs. Recent milestones of national SEA development include the formulation of SEA for the development of the coastal zone and the special spatial planning/multi sector plan for Zambezi (see below). Both were approved by the council of Ministers.

Internal document MITADER (2017)

Legal framework for SEA

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Framework/Enabling law

Environmental Law 1997

Lei Ambiente, Octubre 1997

Year of introduction of enabling law

Environmental Law 1997

Lei Ambiente, Octubre 1997


Approving authority of enabling law

Approved by the Republic Assembly on 31st July 1997It was announced publicly on 1st October 1997.

Lei Ambiente, Octubre 1997

First national detailed SEA regulation

Only a first unofficial draft available (2012)

NCEA has copies

Current enabling legislation for SEA

Environmental Law 1997

Lei Ambiente, Octubre 1997


A first outline of SEA guidelines is available (content requirements)

MITADER communication 2017

Institutional setting for SEA

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Central SEA authority

Currently, there is no clear mandate for leading and coordinating SEA processes across sector Ministers, each sector takes initiatives of formulating their own SEA without consulting each other. This makes the implementation of SEA  ineffective. The establishment of an SEA regulatory framework can greatly help to align SEA approaches for individual initiatives. 

One of the institutional key players in SEA implementation is  MITADER. The Ministry has established an SEA unit, part of the Directorate of Planning, with the main task to coordinate all SEA processes and act as an institutional focal point for conducting SEAs. This unit assisted in the preparation of the SEAs for both the coastal zone and the Zambezi valley (see below).

One of the key challenges faced by the practitioners in implementation and practise of SEA is lack of awareness, tools, capacity, standards and also resources. So in order to overcome these challenges, the Government is committed to make efforts to institutionalize SEA in the country.

MITADER internal document (2017)

SEA procedure

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Establishing context

Implementing the SEA

Informing and influencing decision-making


SEA practice

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Year of first SEA

first SEA-like experiences started in 1994, but first real national SEA took place between 2012-2014 (coastal zone)

MITADER and NCEA web-site (involved in 2 big SEAs in Mozambique)

Annual no. of SEAs

Sofar less than 1 per year

Case studies

The first national detailed SEA report was produced for the entire coastal zone, including 41 districts (2012-2014) with the main objective to formulate guidelines for integrated development of different investment initiatives in the coastal zone, and also to ensure that the environmental considerations are embedded into a strategy to support the Mozambican Government in decision making on sustainable use of coastal resources.

The second is the SEA and special spatial planning for Zambezi Valley (2011-2016), including all districts of Tete Province and neighbouring districts of the Zambezi Valley, with the main goal to ensure the incorporation of key environmental issues when developing sector policies and also to formulate sector guidelines for integrated and sustainable development of this region for the next 30 years.

Other examples of SEAs include:

SEA for Mineral sector (Draft Final Reports– Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment of the Mining and Gas Sectors in Mozambique, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MIREME) of Mozambique, Nov. 2016, funded by World Bank).

SEA for development of corridors (General Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) for the Spatial Development Program, by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, 2015, funded by World Bank).

Currenly an SEA is being undertaken for the National Spatial Development Plan (also with World Bank funding).

MITADER internal document (2017)

Capacity development

The NCEA assisted in several SEA introductory training workshops to relevant MITADER staff and advice on draft SEA guidance/regulations in August 2017, December 2017 and May 2018. 

Also around over 30 people of different public and private organizations were trained between 2013 and 2017 as part of the SIDA/NIRAS supported International Training Programme on SEA.

SEA links

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