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Mozambique is located on the South-Eastern coast of Africa and has a population of 30 million.

Approximately 80 % of Mozambican households are involved in agriculture, livestock, fisheries or forestry for their livelihood. Agriculture is an enormously important sector, providing employment for over 70 % of the country’s workforce. The majority of it is small-scale agriculture that is rain fed, and therefore highly vulnerable to changes in weather patterns and precipitation due to climate change. Peasant communities’ customary land rights are frequently violated in favour of large-scale industrial projects demanding vast areas of land, such as monoculture tree plantations.

Forests cover about 40 % of the country. Mangrove forests, which cover an area of over 3 000 km² and feature 8 mangrove species, offer vital protection from erosion and storm surges. Droughts and resulting forest fires, changes in precipitation, as well as erosion threaten the forests and their biodiversity. Additional dangers are posed by illegal logging, clearing of forest areas for agriculture (both subsistence and commercial), charcoal production and an increasing demand for forest resources like timber and fire wood. Forest governance challenges include corruption, lack of transparency regarding user rights and logging licences, lack of fairness in benefit-sharing, and lack of active community participation – or outright hostility towards local communities enjoying their traditional usufruct rights.

Siemenpuu’s role in Mozambique

Siemenpuu supports Mozambican CSOs through the Feminist Agroecology and Community Forests funding scheme. Through the grants, forest adjacent communities’ forest and natural resource management rights are advanced, as well as sustainable forest dependent livelihoods developed. Where possible, collective forest management titles are advocated for. In addition, smallholders’ capacity to practise biodiverse agriculture is strengthened for poverty alleviation and women peasants’ empowerment. Capacity to advocate for women’s land rights is strengthened.

Increased forest and agricultural biodiversity is aimed at, as well as resilience and improved adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Grantees are expected to pay increasing attention to the participation and the rights of persons with disabilities throughout project design and implementation.

Siemenpuu Foundation supports the organisation of Mozambican environmental CSOs and social movements to defend the civil society’s space and to advocate for the national authorities’ oversight of sustainable natural resource management in favour of the local communities.