Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
This study examines how local communities may benefit from investments in land as well as forestry exploitation in Mozambique. The topic connects to the posed research problem in which these types of investments could entail both negative and positive implications for local communities and could thus be seen as land grab or development opportunities. The effects of investments on local communities will be investigated through two mechanisms in the Mozambican law with potential to benefit communities; through giving back a part of the fee derived by the government from operators employed in forestry exploitation to local communities as well as the promises made by operators in forestry exploitation and investors in land as a result of community consultations.
The study is a result of a field study carried out in Mozambique mainly on a local level in the Mecubúri district, using a qualitative approach and material primarily consisting of interviews with governmental representatives, Non-state Organizations (NGOs), local community members affected by investments in land and forestry exploitation to answer the three posed research questions:
- What are the roles of the public sector, the private sector and the civil society in attempting to ensure that local communities benefit from investments?
- How can the part of the fee derived from forestry operators and the negotiated agreements on benefits for local communities during community consultations affect local communities and what are the implications of these effects?
- What existing structures and capacities in Mecubúri district can assist the local communities to benefit from investments?
An analytical framework, a modified version of Friedmann’s (dis)empowerment, is used to analyze the material in order to answer the research questions. Also, the structure-actor approach is applied in order to examine the proper conditions for local communities’ benefits. The thesis argues that there are visible benefits for local communities such as the construction of schools, health posts and water wells. Furthermore, different actors are facilitating these benefits while bureaucracy, rules and regulations constitute a disabling environment that could be seen as decreasing investments potential as development opportunities.
Key words: Mozambique, land investment, forestry exploitation, local communities, “the 20%”, community consultations, the (dis)empowerment model
2011. , 78 p.