Socio-economic impacts of private forest investment on local livelihoods in Niassa, Mozambique

by Maja Bleyer

Institution: University of Helsinki
Year: 2015
Keywords: opinnäytteet; pro gradu-tutkielmat; private forest investment; forest plantations; sustainable livelihoods; Forest resource and environmental economics
Record ID: 1144835
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/153025


The low population density and consequent high land availability in Niassa, Mozambique have attracted foreign private forest investments. Since 2005 forest companies have acquired the right to establish forest plantations in the area, which naturally affects the livelihoods in communities located close by. This study aimed to analyse the impact of forest plantations on the livelihood and wealth of local communities. The main objectives were the evaluation of impacts on natural resources, livelihood strategies and differences in the experienced impacts between different wealth groups. With these objectives, household interviews, focus group meetings and key informant interviews were held in five different villages in the province of Niassa. With principal component analysis (PCA) weights for valuable assets possessed by households were created and summed up to a factor score. On the basis of these scores the households were divided into three wealth groups, which were used to analyse differences in the perception of different groups of households. The main analysis of the perception of impacts on the natural resources, livelihood strategies and overall livelihood was carried out with binomial and multinomial logistic regression models. The results showed that while the natural capitals were impacted negatively by the establishment of forest plantations, households benefited from more diversified livelihood strategies. Furthermore, it was discovered that the wealth of a household does not have a major impact on the perception of impacts of a household. Instead relocation of farm plots and formal employment have been identified as determining factors. The study showed that the perception of the impacts differs greatly between the villages due to different initial resource endowment and different forest companies. Throughout the study it became evident that the weak implementation of land use rights is an underlying cause for many conflicts between companies and local communities.