On 27 August 2016, the No to ProSAVANA Campaign, along with another 83 organizations from across the globe, published the “Joint statement and open questions on ProSAVANA by the civil society of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan in response to newly leaked government documents”. This above-mentioned statement stresses the facts revealed in leaked documents and the way the program has been carrying out actions against the organizations questioning the program through “ProSAVANA’s Communication Strategy” established by using the fund of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
The documents also show the governments’ strategy, put in place by JICA consultants, to divide Mozambican civil society by marginalizing and excluding the member organizations of the No to ProSAVANA Campaign ever since the process of the creation of a “dialogue mechanism” aiming to redesign ProSAVANA’s Master Plan (MP) began. Nevertheless, the Campaign was the only entity that published a critical analysis of the MP.
Given the irregularity, secrecy, illegitimacy and lack of transparency that characterized the “dialogue mechanism”, (Mechanism of Coordination of the Civil Society for the Development of the Nacala Corridor (MCSC-CN), the Campaign published two press releases denouncing these issues. Now, the leaked documents from JICA—which has financed this entire process—show a clear attempt to co-opt and divide of Mozambican civil society. The minutes of the meeting held at JICA’s office right after the creation of MCSC-CN—where the Mechanism coordinator (who is also coordinator of the Mozambican NGO, SOLIDARITY MOZAMBIQUE and Vice President of the Provincial Platform of the Civil Society of Nampula: PPOSC-N), a WWF staff (the coordinator of the Alliance of the Platforms of Civil Society Organisations for Natural Resources) and members of the ProSAVANA team (JICA, MASA and ABC) were present, among others—reveals that they discussed how to “indirectly” channel funds MCSC-CN, and that the coordinator of the mechanism stated:
“…We had already carried out ‘sensitizing missions’ towards other NGOs and the supporters of “No to ProSAVANA Campaign” to (promote to) align with the vision of the “mechanism” in Maputo and at provincial level”.
These actions carried out directly or indirectly by the governments clearly violate the human rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights and other international agreements, the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique and JICA’s Guidelines on Social and Environmental Considerations. Forcing the implementation of ProSAVANA’s on communities will be a violation of their right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).
Even with all these irregularities, the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan are pushing through the process of “redesigning” the Master Plan, according to a press release from the Civil Society Coordination Mechanism for the Nacala Corridor Development (MCSC-CN) published on 28 October 2016, which contains problematic information as to how the revision process of the Master Plan and public consultation will be conducted.
From the announcement seeking a consultant for the revision of ProSAVANA’s Master Plan and from the press release of MCSC-CN, it is important to mention that:
The governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan have agreed on the implementation of the ProSAVANA Program, in spite of the fact that the Master Plan has not been approved and therefore cannot be implemented, as well as the fact that an entity has been hired to revise the MP. If the governments have already agreed on the implementation of ProSAVANA, then there are no grounds for revising the Master Plan and then seeking approval.
The coordination of the Master Plan revision process was granted to SOLIDARITY MOZAMBIQUE. Despite following a public hiring announcement, nothing else is known about the mechanism for selection. Indeed, SOLIDARITY MOZAMBIQUE does not meet the necessary requirements as stated in the hiring announcement, including: a) It is not impartial due to its close participation in MCSC-CN; b) it is one of the organizations that has most strongly and publically the ProSAVANA Program; and c) it is a non-profit association and consulting services do not fall within its scope. Consequently, SOLIDARITY MOZAMBIQUE’s selection as “Consultant for the revision of ProSAVANA’s Master Plan” is clearly irregular and must be declared null and void.
Although, in a strict sense, the selection process of SOLIDARITY MOZAMBIQUE was regular, the “puppet” nature of the Master Plan redesign proposal (as is clear from the Press Release of the MCSC-CN) must be considered.
The contract between SOLIDARITY MOZAMBIQUE and JICA has a crucial role in the financing of activities that aim to divide Mozambican and sow conflict in civil society through the co-optation of organizations using financing; and although the terms of reference and information about the selection process for Japan have been requested, these have not been made available;
The mapping of interest groups and of community-based organizations that will guide the public consultation process in the Nacala Corridor must be made public, as well as the methodology used in its preparation. MCSC-CN has been acting as an arm of the ProSAVANA Program itself. In their statements and approaches, it is clear that they support the program in the way it currently appears in the latest public version of the Master Plan (version zero)—for as far as we know, there is no other version. This apparent agreement with the ProSAVANA Program—and the constant support of a program that has been largely rejected by the people affected, the peasants of the Nacala Corridor—is quite disturbing and blatantly contradicts the claims that this is an inclusive and participatory process.
The Press Release of the MCSC-CN also refers to a new initiative that aims to change the “No ProSAVANA” situation. However, to our knowledge there have been no structural changes to the Program nor have there been changes in the way it is imposed on local communities and on society in general.
The timeline outlined in the press release is inadequate, discriminatory and does not allow for broad, democratic and inclusive stakeholder participation. Despite the long period during which MCSC-CN is supposedly working "to improve communication and coordination among CSOs, MASA and their international partners to develop a Nacala Corridor Agriculture Development Master Plan in an inclusive and participatory way..." the situation on the ground points to the arrogance and oppressiveness with which the ProSAVANA Program is carried out. No version of ProSAVANA has reflected a redesign of the program by Mozambicans and for Mozambicans. The simplified document that is supposed to be discussed in the consultations scheduled to begin on 23 November has not been made public.
We demand that all documentation for this program and process be made public and that copies of all documents be distributed to the communities along the Nacala Corridor and to all stakeholders, within an acceptable time frame for previous analysis.
We demand that JICA void its contract with SOLIDARITY MOZAMBIQUE due to the irregularities mentioned above, and that the governments of Mozambique, Japan and Brazil respect the human rights of Nacala Corridor communities as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the constitution of the Republic of Mozambique and JICA’s own Guidelines on Social and Environmental Considerations and its institutional compliance.
There will be no community consultations nor regional meetings nor conferences whatsoever based on simplified documents. We will not legitimize an obscure process filled with illegalities, where the real objectives are masked and nothing defined as serious and binding commitments.
No to ProSAVANA!
Mozambique, 8 November 2016
ADECRU – Academic Association for the Development of Rural Communities, Mozambique
Woman Forum, Mozambique
Justiça Ambiental – JA! – Amigos da Terra, Mozambique
Human Rights League, Mozambique
National Farmers Union, Mozambique
Archdiocesan Commission for Justice and Peace of Nampula, Mozambique
Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace of Nacala, Mozambique
Women World March, International
Africa Japan Forum (AJF), Japan
No! to landgrab, Japan
APLA/Alternative People's Linkage in Asia
Pastoral Comission of Land – CPT
FASE – Solidarity and Education, Brazil
Japan Family Farmers Movement, Japan (La Vía Campesina Japan)
Japan International Volunteer Center, Japan
Concerned Citizens Group with the Development of Mozambican-Japan, Japan
Concerned Citizens Group with TPP, Japan
Sapporo Freedom School 'YU', Japan
Hokkaido NGO Network Council, Japan
NGO No War Network Hokkaido volunteers, Japan
Global Justice, Brazil
Peasant Women Movement – MMC, Brasil
ODA Reform Network, Japan
Black Women's Network for Safety and Nutrition, Brazil
TPP Citizen Coalition, Japan
NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF MEN AND WOMEN WORKERS IN FAMILY FARMING IN BRAZIL.- CONTRAF-BRAZIL
Note: Notícias newspaper in Maputo refused to publish the Portuguese version of this press release, even as an announcement and even upon payment, since they claimed it went against their editorial line. They also refused to give this information in writing, since they said they did not need to justify the refusal.