Mozambique - Increased awareness and capacity on SEA

Increased awareness and capacity on SEA

SEA was introduced to Mozambique in 2009, recognizing the increasingly complex nature of development impacts and the limited possibilities in the ESIA process to address these effectively. SEA complements ESIA, as it brings various stakeholders together around strategic-level decisions on plans, policies, or programmes, while ESIA focusses on individual projects.

The role of the NCEA

The NCEA provided a comprehensive set of SEA-related capacity building activities: there have been at least ten significant training events since 2009, often in collaboration with other partners, such as Swedish SIDA and WWF Mozambique. Collaboration made inputs timely, and likely increased its effectiveness. Besides learning through specific capacity building activities,

 capacities were also increased through advice on specific SEAs. This also improved these individual processes. Besides the above described SEA on the lower Zambezi valley, the NCEA has been involved in three other SEA processes with independent advice and coaching. The manner in which support was provided -demand driven, flexible and responding to change- was an important contributing factor.

The results

Currently, government officials of various sectors, the private sector and NGOs now have considerable awareness, knowledge and capacity in integrating SEA in planning processes. The recognition that SEA is a beneficial and important tool is increasing as well.

Although capacities on SEA are increased, there are no legal requirements yet for SEA, while this would be very useful: a formal link with decision-making supports enforcement of decisions and strengthens ownership. This is despite earlier efforts of the NCEA. Although things are moving slowly, there is still progress: The integration of SEA is still ongoing. The Ministry of Land and Environment has developed a roadmap for the finalization of SEA guidelines, and to further define the institutional and legal framework for SEA. The first results have been presented in April 2021.