Improved ESIA system

Improved ESIA system

The role of the NCEA

The NCEA’s support to Mozambique on ESIA commenced in 1998, when ESIA was introduced in regulation. This included supporting complex individual ESIA processes, contributions on the regulatory framework and the establishment of a professional exchange platform. During three separate revision rounds, in 2004, 2008 and 2015, the NCEA has provided input into the legal regulations around ESIA.

The results

This input has increased transparency in decision-making and enhanced public participation. It also led to the decentralization of some responsibilities to the provinces. Next to these successes, not all of the NCEA suggestions have been taken up in regulatory texts. For example, together with other organizations such as WCS and BioFund, the NCEA advised to formalise the inclusion of independent experts for complex projects. The Ministry of Land and Environment, however, considered this to be too ambitious and not reflecting local reality.

The NCEA support has also played an important role in establishing and operationalizing the Mozambican Association for Impact Assessment (AMAIA). The NCEA supported this organization in its training initiatives, implemented training, and provided coaching to its staff. While the existence of this platform is an important step forward, challenges remain. Currently, the organization does not seem very active in facilitating knowledge exchange: due to insufficient budgets, the organization was not able to repeat some trainings, as was originally intended. AMAIA does maintain the ESIA consultant register, and revised legislation now allows the removal of ‘poor performers’ from this register.

At this moment, there is no doubt that ESIA is widely understood in Mozambique, also in sector ministries, and that generally, projects requiring ESIA are subject to one. The Ministry of Land and Environment is clearly the process leader in these.

Quotes from evaluations
“The NCEA supported activities in Mozambique over the last 15 years have made important contributions to improving the overall SEA and ESIA systems and processes”[1] It is also noted that ‘NCEA inputs have led to improvements in the Ministry’s approaches with respect to participation and inclusion’[2].

Also, the way in which results were achieved is very much appreciated, both by our partners and by the evaluators: ‘The support provided by the NCEA has been largely effective. It is unlikely that a different approach would have achieved a better result.’ [3]

“The nature of the NCEA support has been an important factor in achieving these outcomes”[4]

On NCEA’s support for individual ESIA processes, external evaluators have pointed out a positive impact on decision-making: ‘NCEA comments were useful and used whenever possible’ and ‘NCEA inputs have led to improvement in the Ministry’s approaches with respect to participation and inclusion’. [5]


[1] Impact evaluation of the NCEA’s activities in Mozambique, Van der Sluys (2020)
[2] Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), 2017. Final Evaluation of the MFANL supported Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) programme 2012-2017,
[3] Impact Evaluation, Van der Sluys (2020)
[4] Impact Evaluation, Van der Sluys (2020)
[5] Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), Final Evaluation.