No to ProSavana Campaign denounces irregularities in ProSavana dialogue
The No to ProSavana Campaign has been monitoring the ProSavana Programme. This programme raises many concerns and fears because of the way it was conceived and the negative impacts it has had on peasant agriculture, the environment and human rights.
The No to ProSavana Campaign monitored a meeting in Nampula, Mozambique, which took place 11-12 January 2016, organised by the Platform of Civil Society Organisations of Nampula (PPOSC-N), the Forum of NGOs of Niassa (FONAGNI), the Forum of NGOs of Zambézia (FONGZA), the Network of Organisations for the Environment and Sustainable Community Development (RADEZA). The meeting was facilitated by MAJOL Consultancy and Services Ltd, a company hired by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to “create a mechanism for dialogue and coordination between the government and civil society organisations, and to develop a ‘road map’ for discussion and joint decision-making on ProSavana-related issues.”
One of the objectives of this meeting was to lend legitimacy to ProSavana, which since its creation has violated human rights, broken laws, restricted access to information, and limited public participation in consultations, among other issues.
In recognition of the multiple irregularities observed during the public consultations of 2015, the government promised a second round of public consultations, following proper legal procedures. We expected that the process facilitated by MAJOL would mark the beginning of this second round. However, the meeting was tainted by severe irregularities that only confirmed ProSavana’s many inherent shortcomings and flawed processes, which should be publicly and widely denounced:
1. The inclusion of civil society organisations favourable to ProSavana and the exclusion of other organisations that only learned of the meeting through a public invitation released in the national press with very short notice.
2. Attempts on behalf of event organisers to physically attack two activists of the National Peasant Union (União Nacional dos Camponeses), an organisation that participates in the No to ProSavana Campaign.
3. The publication of a press release by the event organisers that does not reflect the discussions and conclusions of the meeting, a fact that is demonstrated by reviewing the meeting minutes.
Additionally, the No to ProSavana Campaign found evidence that the decisions taken in the provincial platforms as part of this process were not representative. In other words, they did not include the participation of all of the organisations that are part of these platforms, but rather only a few representatives.
In light of these facts, the No to ProSavana Campaign expresses its profound indignation and dissatisfaction with the way in which this dialogue was carried out. We reaffirm our commitment and tireless engagement in raising awareness about and resisting ProSavana, in defense of the rights of Nacala Corridor communities and national sovereignty.
The No to ProSavana Campaign calls for compliance with the demands outlined in the “Open Letter to Urgently Stop and Reflect on the ProSavana Programme” presented to the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan in 2013, and in the “Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Mozambique” in 2015:
- Measures must be taken to immediately suspend all activities and projects underway in the tropical savannas of the Nacala Development Corridor as part of the ProSavana Programme.
- An inclusive and democratic mechanism must urgently be established in order to create a broad-based official dialogue with all sectors of Mozambican society, particularly peasants, rural people, Corridor communities and religious and civil society organisations, with the goal of defining their needs, aspirations and priorities for the sovereign development agenda.
The No to ProSavana Campaign defends and believes in solidarity between peoples, and therefore, reiterates its engagement in the dialogue among social movements and civil society organisations of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan.
The No to ProSavana Campaign calls on peasant, environmental and social movements, civil society organisations, rural communities, and all citizens to mobilise and organise a united front of resistance against ProSavana.
Maputo, 19 February 2016