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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
Name of conflict:Chikweti plantations, Mozambique
State or province:Province of Niassa
Location of conflict:Several 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:Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project details

According 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:140000
Level of Investment:43,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population::thousands of rural families in different communities
Start of the conflict:2005
Company names or state enterprises:Chikweti 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 actors:Provincial Government of Niassa and Fundação Malonda, a state agency to promote development of the private sector in Niassa province
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:UNAC (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.
Conflict & Mobilization
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Landless peasants
Forms of mobilization:Creation 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-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
company fined; more regulation from the government; some land permits not approved
Development of alternatives:More support for peasant (food-based) agriculture
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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
Contributor:Winnie Overbeek
Last update08/04/2014
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