703-i. Mozambique Capacity Development

The NCEA has been involved in capacity development for EIA and SEA in Mozambique since 2003. It has provided assistance to the national Ministry of Environment (MICOA) in EIA regulation, capacity building, and review of several complex and controversial projects. Since 2008, the NCEA has provided coaching and training of the National Association of Environmental Assessment Experts (AMAIA).

Significant details

Started: 2003

Process and activities

In 2003, the NCEA supported the Ministry of Environment of Mozambique (MICOA) in five EIA procedures for a number of complex and politically sensitive projects. Following this support, MICOA and the NCEA wanted to start a more structural cooperation, but MICOA could only enter into a 1-year programme. By the end of 2003, therefore, the NCEA and MICOA signed a 1-year Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) concerning improvement of EIA regulations and development of an SEA system. During this first year of structural cooperation, the NCEA's activities included:

Evaluation of this 1-year cooperation resulted in a draft proposal for a 3- to 5-year cooperation on capacity development and implementation of the new EIA regulations. In 2005, however, this new cooperation could not be started due to staff changes at the Environmental Ministry and withdrawal of the Netherlands Embassy from the environmental programme in Mozambique. For that reason, cooperation between MICOA and the NCEA focused on short-term advice on EIA in concrete plans and projects. Examples include advice on EIA for oil and gas exploitation and ToR advice as well as review of EIA for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration in the provinces of Inhambane and Sofala.

In 2007 however, MICOA requested to explore options for renewed collaboration on capacity development on SEA. Opportunities were found for capacity strenghtening for SEA for physical planning and coastal development, in the context of oil and gas explorations. A new MoC was signed in 2008. Important activities in the renewed collaboration were:

  • Advice on SEA for spatial planning of coastal zones, including four secretariat advisory reports on the coastal SEA;
  • Assistance in establishment of the Mozambique Association for Impact Assessment (AMAIA), targeting experts in environmental assessment;
  • Advice for the Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique on a joint review of donor support to MICOA;
  • Review of Mozambique's draft biofuels strategy;
  • Organization of training for MICOA staff on SEA for spatial planning;
  • Organization of an environmental assessment training for AMAIA, including an SEA workshop and debate;
  • Coaching of AMAIA staff;
  • Assistance to AMAIA in organization of a training on public participation in EIA;
  • Advisory reports on an ESIA for coal barging on the Zambezi river and on scoping and process design for a multi-sector plan and SEA for the lower Zambezi;
  • Organization of a training of trainers course in the Multiple Gains Approach to Negotiation, in the context of SEA;
  • Guest lectures on methods for impact assessment and ecosystem services analysis.

In 2012, a new MoC for 3 years was signed by MICOA and the NCEA. The government decided to add development of a spatial plan to the planning process, and asked the NCEA to coach this process and assist in capacity development. Under this new MoC, the NCEA has so far undertaken the following activities:

  • Continued coaching on the SEA for the multi-sector development plan for the Lower Zambezi;
  • Development of an operational plan for the planning/SEA process;
  • Support of the SEA department in drafting SEA legislation;
  • Training on ecosystem services approaches;
  • Advisory review of the SEA for coastal zones;
  • Diverse secretariat advices, including on ToR for a project manager and observations on a draft legal text;
  • Assistance to MICOA in the tender procedure for the Lower Zambezi basin multi-sector agenda, physical planning and SEA process;
  • Development of guidelines on EIA for the mining sector.


The NCEA's activities with MICOA and AMAIA strenghtened EIA and SEA capacities in Mozambique in various ways. The relevant parties have gained greater knowledge and skills on EIA/SEA and its application and a greater awareness of its benefits. SEA is now more widely applied as an instrument for coordination of planning, conflict resolution and effective decision-making. Public participation in SEA and review of EIA are enhanced, and SEA for specific sectors, most notably coastal planning, has improved.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Technical secretary: Reinoud Post

Further details

Country: Mozambique

Last modified: 15 Apr 2019