In May 2023, the partners of the COMBO+ program in Mozambique, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation (BIOFUND) and the National Directorate of Environment (DINAB), in partnership with the company Portucel Mozambique, promoted a 5-day exchange of experiences visit to the company’s operational areas in the district of Ile (Zambézia Province), including the forest nursery, plantation areas and communities benefitted by the project.

The mission involved 45 participants from government entities, academia, research entities and civil society, with the main objective being to showcase the implementation of best practices in applying Mitigation Hierarchy, following the procedures described in the Ministerial Diploma No. 55/2022.

Portucel Mozambique is one of the largest plantation forestry and industrial investment projects in the country. The company plans to invest over 2.3 billion US dollars, including for the establishment of a pulp mill for processing. The collaboration between the COMBO+ programme and Portucel began in 2016 and has been conducted through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the parties. This resulted in the publication of a case study, analyzing how the mitigation hierarchy is being applied to address project impacts and with a view to improve biodiversity safeguard practices.

This exchange of experiences visit is an integral part of the multi-sectoral training and capacity building activities led by the COMBO+ Programme since 2016. COMBO+ will continue promoting these activities with the primary objective of establishing effective communication mechanisms between proponents of economic development projects, the government and other stakeholders, in order to help strengthen the technical capacity of government entities in terms of assessing, monitoring and enforcing the implementation of the mitigation hierarchy, and knowledge sharing with all parties involved.