Chikweti plantations, Mozambique


Chikweti started to invest in Niassa in pine and eucalyptus plantations in 2005. From the 140,000 ha to be occupied, its goal is to plant 65,500 ha with tree plantations. The aim of the plantations is not clear. Since the implementation several conflicts have occured with the many rural communities in the region in a country where 70-80% of the population lives in rural communities. The main conflict cause therefore is the dispute over land. Chikweti with a concession given by the national government, claims exactly the same lands as the communities have traditionally been using. Agreements made with village chiefs on lands to be used by the companies have not been respected. Also workers of the company have complained about being fired soon after been contracted, lack of transport, littly payment and discrimination

Basic Data
NameChikweti plantations, Mozambique
ProvinceProvince of Niassa
SiteSeveral districts in the region around the provincial capital called Lichinga, including Lichinga and Lago districts
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific Commodities
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAccording to official information from December 2012, Chikweti had already a permit to use 45 thousand há, and had planted 14,250 há with eucalyptus and pine, while employing about 1,100 people
Project Area (in hectares)140000
Level of Investment (in USD)43,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population:thousands of rural families in different communities
Start Date2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesChikweti Forests of Niassa Sarl from Mozambique - One of the owners of Chikweti is the Global Solidarity Forest Fund (GSFF) based in Sweden, and Timber Holding LLC, based in the US
Global Solidarity Forest Fund (GSFF) from Sweden - it is funded by Swedish and Norwegian Lutheran churches, and also the Dutch investment fund ABP is a partner.
Timber Holding LLC
Relevant government actorsProvincial Government of Niassa and Fundação Malonda, a state agency to promote development of the private sector in Niassa province
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersUNAC (National Union of Peasants of Mozambique) and Justicia Ambiental (Friends of the Earth Mozambique) carried out a preliminary study on the land grabbing process in Mozambique.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)UNKNOWN
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Landless peasants
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew legislation
company fined; more regulation from the government; some land permits not approved
Development of AlternativesMore support for peasant (food-based) agriculture
Why? Explain briefly.Yes because government reacted on denunciations and fined the company and implemented more rules and control; no because tree plantations continue expanding, making life for rural communities in the end more difficult
Sources and Materials

Lemos, A. (coord.), 2011. Lords of the Land: preliminary analysis of the phenomenon of land grabbing in Mozambique. Justia Ambiental and UNAC, Maputo; Overbeek, Winfridus, The Expansion of Tree Monocultures in Niassa Province, Mozambique. ; governo de Nia
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Meta Information
ContributorWinnie Overbeek
Last update08/04/2014