“Negligible and unpredictable”: Revenues from natural resources channelled to local communities
The revenues that the Mozambican state channels to communities living in areas where forest and mineral resources are exploited are “negligible”, and their delivery by the executive has been “unpredictable”, a study says.
The study, published by Lusa on Saturday, was commissioned by the Civil Society Learning and Training Centre (CESC), a Mozambican civil society organisation, and analyses the management of forestry and mining revenues channelled to communities in Niassa, Nampula and Zambézia provinces.
“The financial resources transferred to the communities are minimal, and [far] from having a significant impact on the lives of the communities,” the analysis cited by Lusa says.
Regarding forests, some natural resource management committees – bodies made up of members of the communities – receive amounts ranging between 30,000 and 300,000 meticais per year (€333 – €3,300), the text says.
Minimal amounts are also paid in communities residing in mining areas analysed by CESC researchers, ranging from 400,000 meticais (€4,400 euros) to 1.4 million meticais (€15,400).
“For this reason, the communities of Topuito [Larde district, Nampula province], have asked for an increase in the percentage channelled to the community”, reads the study.
The analysis points out that the current model of allocating 2.75% of revenues from the exploitation of mining resources does not take into account the “equity principle” and can therefore “reinforce inequalities between communities”.
It cites Namanhumbir, in Montepuez district, Cabo Delgado, where rubies are extracted, which received 22.9 million meticais (€253,000) in 2019, more than the amount channelled to five communities in the same number of districts elsewhere in the country.
The study also criticises the “unpredictability” in the delivery of revenues resulting from the exploitation of forest and mineral resources, pointing out that there are cases in which the money is not transferred to the communities.
Even where the amounts are disbursed, the evaluation continues, they are often badly delayed.
“By November 20, 2020, communities in Niassa, Nampula and Zambézia had not received funds for the years 2019 and 2020,” the assessment discloses.
The researchers point out that 2.5% of mining revenues should, by law, be paid over by January of each year, but this requirement has not been met.
Furthermore, restrictions on how money can be spent also lessens the impact of the transfers on the lives of communities, who cannot identify financing priorities for themselves.
The study argues that the government should promote training in income-generating activities in communities, because mineral resources are not renewable, and forestry resources generally take a long time to be replaced.
Source: Lusa / CESC