Mozambique’s Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Local Communities (MozDGM) has officially launched! After approval by the World Bank Board in early December, the launch of five-year US $4.5 million project to put project design and funding decisions into the hands of local communities was announced in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, one of the target landscapes of the project.
Speaking at the event, Daniel Maula, President of the National Steering Committee, reiterated that the initiative is indeed “by and for the communities.” Angelina Siadrece, Vice-President of the MozDGM National Steering Committee and community leader from Macomia, Cabo Delgado, said the project would “bring new energy to local communities for natural resource management.”
Empowering the Community Voice
With majority of the population living in rural areas, Mozambique’s economies and livelihoods rely on healthy forests and the sustainable use of natural resources. The needs and opinions of rural communities, however, are often lost when it comes to natural resource management policy and decision-making. By providing communities and local leaders with the tools and knowledge they need to understand and participate in sustainable natural resource management, MozDGM will empower them to tailor projects, giving voice to community interests and needs in key national policy platforms.
Designed by members of civil society and local community leaders, with technical support from the World Bank and funded by the Forest Investment Program (FIP), MozDGM will provide community representatives, youth, women and school children technical and skill-based trainings on their rights over local natural resources, and how they can get involved in sustainable resource management and participate meaningfully in decision-making. The hope is that MozDGM will increase community participation and empower local organizations, leading to more effective governance of Mozambique’s valuable natural resources.
Through DGM Global, MozDGM will also open up opportunities to connect the local to the global, facilitating the participation of local communities in decision-making at the international level.
The piloting of models for Community Based Natural Resource Management is another central goal of MozDGM. The project will support 8-10 community projects in agriculture and forest value chains, fisheries and tourism – key areas identified with potential for improving the livelihoods of communities. Projects should promote partnerships with the private sector, business development, and the integration of women and youth.
Building synergies across projects
MozDGM is part of Mozambique’s Forest Investment Program, alongside the Mozambique Forest Investment Project (MozFIP), which was approved by the FIP Sub-Committee in May 2016. With a focus on local communities, MozDGM aims to increase community involvement in forest- and natural resource-related programs and complement the Bank’s existing integrated landscape management programs supported through MozFIP.
But MozFIP is not the only Bank project that the DGM shares synergies with. Since MozDGM aims to build the capacity of a wide community base and develop a model for community governance and resource management, these benefits will be felt across the World Bank’s Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) Portfolio in Mozambique. This Portfolio includes a series of projects that integrate community-based natural resource management and collaboratively contribute to the promotion of rural development and sustainable natural resource management.