Testing REDD+ in Mozambique

IIED has been helping to facilitate the REDD+ process, which aims to reduce emissions and conserve forests, in Mozambique since 2009.

Duncan Macqueen

Director of forests, Natural Resources research group

A REDD strategy team talk to farmer Nimale Maribu at the Meceburi Forest Reserve, Mozambique. Photo: Mike Goldwater

Farmer Nimale Maribu from Mozambique talks to researchers developing a REDD+ strategy for the country (Photo: copyright Mike Goldwater)

REDD+ aims to compensate developing countries that reduce emissions from land use and land use change, as well as conserving, sustainably managing or enhancing forests, as a means of mitigating climate change.

We have been helping to facilitate the REDD+ process through the South-South REDD Brazil-Mozambique initiative, a project funded by the Brazilian government which aimed to prepare a national REDD+ strategy for Mozambique.

To date our work has included the development of Mozambique’s national REDD+ strategy and the REDD+ readiness preparation proposal, which was approved in March 2012 by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

Deforestation in Mozambique: increasing pressures

We are also carrying out research on deforestation in the country. As part of that process, research carried out in the Beira landscape corridor showed annual biomass and carbon losses of 3.1 per cent between 2007 and 2010. This is an alarming figure because one study site in Manica province in western Mozambique is near areas that are supposed to be protected forests.

This identified an urgent need to assess the extent to which the study site was representative of the situation across the broader Beira landscape corridor, and to determine what investment packages might help prevent deforestation and degradation.

In response to this, IIED carried out more detailed research on the Beira corridor, where the most productive forests are concentrated and where there is also a high potential for small- and large-scale commercial agriculture. The area also includes a major concentration of forest concessions, as well as agricultural initiatives.

The project had a research component and an implementation and testing component. The research component involved constructing a socio-economic baseline, which set out how the current land was being used and how it benefited local communities.

The construction of this baseline study enabled us to then look at what kinds of interventions were needed to be put in place to reduce and contain deforestation and degradation of Mozambique’s forests. Then we undertook an economic analysis to see whether these delivery models are viable or not.

The programme trialled four interventions: to expand conservation agriculture, to make logging more sustainable, to harvest and use biomass energy more efficiently, and to promote sustainable production of an important non-timber product.

Finally, we looked at the social and environmental impacts by carrying out a socioeconomic survey of almost 1,200 households (Portuguese only) in the provinces of Manica, Sofala and Zambézia, looking at perceptions of the motivations behind adopted land use practices by the rural population.

Additional resources

Implementação do Redd+ no corredor da Beira abrangendo as províncias de Manica, Sofala e Zambézia, Isilda Nhantumbo, Romana Rombe, Benard Guedes (2013), Project information leaflet

Getting REDD-ready: two models of coordination and engagement from Africa, Isilda Nhantumbo (2012) IIED Briefing Paper

Understanding carbon loss and potential interventions in Manica, Mozambique, Isilda Nhantumbo (2012) IIED Briefing Paper


The Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge

Institute for Agrarian Research of Mozambique (IIAM) (Portuguese language site)

MICAIA Foundation

Faculties of Agriculture and of Arts and Social Sciences at Eduardo Mondlane University (Portuguese language site)

Organização de Ajuda Mútua (ORAM)


Norwegian Embassy in Mozambique (September 2012 to December 2016)