Support project to the Government of Mozambique for the mainstreaming of climate change into policies and strategies and to adapt to climate change impact

Mozambique regularly experiences extreme weather events. Droughts occur every three to four years, in a country where most people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Many regional river basins converge in Mozambique, and flooding is a perennial threat, especially when coupled with tropical cyclones. The country urgently needs a coordinated approach to tackling climate change.

In January 2015, heavy rains resulted in severe flooding in the north and centre of the country causing deaths and substantial economic damage including to critical infrastructure.  These heavy rains in the region also had a strong negative impact in the energy supply for large areas in the north of the country and several regions remain isolated as of early 2015 due to the collapse of roads and bridges.  

"We believe that we can change the challenges faced by our people into concrete actions to improve their living conditions by reducing their vulnerability to climate change."
Mrs Alcinda Abreu, Minister for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs

Focus on the most vulnerable communities

Overall objective:

Support the government's efforts in tackling the adverse effects of climate change, with a special focus on the most vulnerable communities in the rural areas of the country.

Specific objective:

Increase the capacity of the Government of Mozambique to adequately mainstream climate change and climate-proofing initiatives into its poverty alleviation and development strategies.

Main expected results and activities: 

The institutional capacity and technical expertise of key government institutions is strengthened.

This involves reviewing relevant sectoral development strategies to improve the mainstreaming of environmental and climate change themes. These reviews are to be set against the most recent legal and policy framework. Actions are also undertaken to strengthen MICOA’s leadership and mandatory role as focal point in environmental affairs; and to improve the coordination and monitoring of both government- and donor-relevant interventions.

Other courses of action include strengthening the environmental monitoring system to adequately measure sector performance; promoting good governance practices; improving compliance with relevant legal and regulatory framework; and providing a clear reference for enhanced coordination and linkages between all government and non-state actors, at central, provincial and district level.

Information sharing and awareness campaigns are carried out, together with dedicated training courses.

This involves activities to increase the understanding of climate change issues amongst key stakeholders, including civil society and learning institutions at secondary and university level; as well as actions aimed at improving responsiveness to climate change amongst key development agents at all levels from central to local level. On-the-job training for relevant staff at the local level, and the identification of information networks to promote climate change awareness through the cross-dissemination of local knowledge, are also being undertaken.

Implementation of the national response to climate change (Environment Strategy for Sustainable Development, National Adaptation Programme of Action) is supported by putting into practice a number of pilot projects, mainly in the agrarian and agroforestry sectors.

Environment-related institutions are invited to conduct applied research and studies supporting the development of innovative solutions to climate change.

Actions are also being undertaken to identify appropriate adjustment and coping strategies linked to land use in the rural environment, in support of the adaptation of traditional farming and livelihood systems to the changing climatic conditions in vulnerable areas.

Concrete adaptation measures are being implemented in selected vulnerable areas to reduce the vulnerability of the local productive systems and improve resilience to climate change amongst target rural communities.

Key achievements: 
  • An institutional performance study has been completed, followed by finalisation of a training needs assessment.
  • Phase II of the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC)'s study on the impact of climate change has been completed (reports are available in EN and PT). 
  • One of the flagship activities in the  the National Climate Change Strategy (ENMMC 2013-2015) is the development of Local Adaptation Plans (PLA). The support to Ministry of Land, Agriculture and Rural Development (MITADER) and the ex-Ministry of Planning and Development (MPD) began in early 2013. A total of 10 staff members from the central level and 32 persons from the provincial departments of MITADER and ex-MPD and 35 district staff were trained in 4 separate training events on Climate Vulnerability Capacity Assessment and elaboration of Local Adaptation Plans with involvement of communities.  In 2014 key staff members at the central and provincial level were trained in the use of “Theory of Change” in a Training of Trainers approach in order to assist the districts in developing their PLA. In parallel the team at central level consisting of staff from several institutions developed the Methodological Guideline on Elaboration of Local Adaptation Plans. In 2014 the use of this guideline was applied to support districts in preparing their PLA. Seventeen local adaptation plans (PLA) at district level have received support in 2014. By the end of 2014, 13 districts had a draft PLAs.  The District of Guija was the first to approve its PLA. The preparation of eleven more LPAs will be supported in 2015.
  • Seventeen local adaptation plans at district level have received support and are expected to begin implementation in 2015. Ten more local adaptation plans will be supported in 2015 
  • MITADER has supported implementation of over a hundred of small to medium-scale activities which are carried out by provincial or district authorities in most vulnerable areas based on the ENMC approved in 2012.
  • In 2012, the Government of Mozambique (GoM) assumed a commitment towards the Green Economy. In October 2013 the Council of Ministers approved the Plan of Action for the Green Economy 2013/2014.
  • The “Strategic Environmental assessment of the Coastal Zone of Mozambique” was finalized in the first semester of 2013. It is considered as a key document for environmental management and climate change adaption.
  • The programme is taking a lead in the introduction of a monitoring system with a fully aligned performance based monitoring on realization of targets combined with monitoring of financial execution in relation to the achievements of these targets, linking planning with implementation and budget execution. The monitoring system provides a basis for monitoring cost effectiveness in implementation and budget discipline in relation to the use of funds as specified in the approved annual plans.
  • The National Institute for Disaster Risk Management (INGC) is a key beneficiary of this programme. During the last two years, the planning and monitoring process has been considerably strengthened with six provinces (out of 10) being covered. Key planning staff at the central and provincial level received training in planning, monitoring and evaluation. 
  • Also, the programme supported data collection and mapping of areas at risk of droughts, floods, cyclones and earthquakes. Risks maps for 11 districts are ready for printing while data collection has been completed for another 6 districts. Furthermore, a topographical study has been carried out in part of the Zambezi Basin that aims at improving forecasting of the impacts of various magnitudes of floods. These activities will enhance the capacity of INGC and other institutions to plan better and reduce vulnerability to climate change. 
  • The programme is also supporting the development of early warning systems in the Messalo Basin in the northern part of the country and in Chokwe town in the Limpopo Basin in the southern part of the country. 
  • Activities under implementation at provincial and district level on adaptation and risk management include:
  • Planting and rehabilitation of 229 ha of mangrove. An overall Action Plan for Mangrove Rehabilitation is also under elaboration with support from the IUCN;
  • Installation of 105 rainwater harvesting facilities varying in size from 68 to 2500 m3, 
  • Creation and revitalization of a large number local risk management committees of which 59 benefited from risk management kits that enable prevention of loss of life and possessions during floods.
  • Conservation agriculture and more drought resistant crops such as cassava and sweet potatoes were promoted by creating demonstration fields of a ½ to 1 ha each, 
  • Two major excavated reservoirs for water storage in areas with water deficit were constructed;
  • A feasibility study and business plan has been carried out for creating artisanal production of amarula oil for the cosmetic industry. Such a production can potentially improve local income and job opportunities in very vulnerable semi-arid areas by using a local and abundant resource.

Actions related to the mitigation of climate change were associated to the following thematics:

  • National inventory system for greenhouse gases
  • With the objective of elaboration of an energy flow diagram which will permit the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions data from the energy sector, the Ministry of Energy collected data on biomass in Nampula and Cabo Delgado Provinces. The first report on the data collection and development of the database is expected in early 2015.
  • In relation of the establishment of a National Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, a course was held for staff in key ministries on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodologies of setting of a national inventory system for greenhouse gases. The course was organised on a thematic basis which permitted the addressing of the issue on energy, forests, waste and agriculture with the relevant staff from different government institutions. 
  • Low energy housing with local materials
  • The Foundation for Low Cost Housing under the Ministry of Public Works and Housing leads a project on building a model house with low energy consumption and application of renewable energy technologies. 
  • Reduced emission initiatives include activities to reduce uncontrolled forest fires, promotion of improved cooking stoves, sustainable energy technologies, forest rehabilitation and planting.
  • Sustainable use of biomass
  • The Strategy on sustainable use and conservation of biomass for energy prepared by the Ministry of Energy was approved by the Council of Ministers in November 2013. In 2014 the strategy was disseminated at events in seven provinces.
  • A large number of awareness raising campaigns was launched across the country to reduce the incidence of bush fires. An additional initiative has been the creation of honey production associations and the distribution of over 3500 bee hives to support the development of sustainable incomes without the use of fire to clear lands for cropping;
  • In order to improve the efficiency of firewood usage, more than 1600 improved charcoal cook stoves and 79 improved institutional stoves for firewood have been handed out. These initiatives were accompanied by a large number of awareness raising events.
Lessons learned: 
  • The process of developing the national climate change strategy has highlighted the importance of allocating appropriate resources to support analysis and discussion between the various stakeholders involved in institutional arrangements associated with climate change actions.
  • The programme has enabled MITADER to implement environmental and climate adaption activities on the basis of a cross-sectoral, decentralised approach involving a range of sectors at provincial level and with an average of three districts in each province. Monitoring efforts must now focus on gathering relevant experience and providing recommendations that can lead to the necessary adjustments in procedures, implementing arrangements and the focus of activities. Lessons learned should be communicated across all relevant partners.

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