On February 27 and 28, 2023, the National Directorate of Environment (DINAB) in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation (BIOFUND), through the COMBO+ Program, held a training workshop for civil society organization (CSO) platforms in Maputo. The aim was to strengthen capacity and improve participants’ understanding of key pieces of legislation and their application – i.e. the regulation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process (Decree No. 54/2015 of December 31) and the Directive on Biodiversity Offsets in Mozambique (Ministerial Diploma No. 55/2022 of May 19).
The event was attended by 45 participants from across the country, belonging to different civil society platforms, namely: Platform on Natural Resources and Extractive Industry (PIE), Forum of Civil Society Organizations for the Marine and Coastal Area (FOSCAMC), Mozambican Civil Society Organizations Forum for Wildlife (FOFABRAVIA), National Forest Forum (FNF), Association of Journalists for Biodiversity Conservation (AJOCOM), among other relevant CSOs.
According to Decree 54/2015 of 31 December, the EIA process in Mozambique proposes the implementation of measures to avoid, minimize and restore the impacts of category A+ and A development projects. In case of significant residual impacts on biodiversity, the project developers must implement biodiversity offset management plans (BOMPs) as a last resource to nullify the residual negative impacts of the project or even to achieve Net Gain ("NG") of biodiversity, preferably in conservation areas or other areas important for biodiversity such as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).
Using a combination of theory and practice-based sessions and open discussion, the training covered topics on (i) the updated policy-legal framework relevant for the application of the Mitigation Hierarchy and Biodiversity Offsets in Mozambique and its evolution, (ii) the tools (e.g. Red Lists, KBAs, ecosystem map) and platforms (e.g. Biodiversity Portal- SIBMOZ and Environmental Licensing Management System - SGLA) relevant in identifying areas to avoid and to offset, as well as, (iii) the role of CSOs and local Communities in the process of environmental impact assessment and implementation of biodiversity offsets in Mozambique.
This training is part of the multi-sectoral training program on the implementation of the mitigation hierarchy and biodiversity offsets in Mozambique targeted to technicians from government, private sector, academia, NGOs, CSOs and other key stakeholders.
Photo credit: BIOFUND