Collaborating Across Continents: Mozambique, Brazil and the World Bank Deepen South-South Cooperation on Sustainable Rural Development

May 15, 2017


An important objective of the MoU is to improve rural sustainable livelihoods in Mozambique. Women harvest chillies in Maputo Special Reserve. 

Photo: Andrea Borgarello/World Bank

  • World Bank sponsors Mozambique and Brazil’s south-south partnership to improve sustainable rural development
  • The two countries share many similar challenges and opportunities; they are both biodiversity hotspots, and both grapple with resource exploitation challenges
  • Mozambique is now the largest recipient of South-South cooperation from Brazil in Africa

MAPUTO, May 15, 2017 - Mozambique is richly endowed with natural resources including 40 million hectares of natural forests. Despite their tremendous potential, the country’s natural forests are being rapidly depleted at an annual rate of approximately 0.35 percent a year, representing an annual loss of almost 140,000 hectares. The threat that the current rate of deforestation in the country poses to rural livelihoods, wildlife and biodiversity habitats, as well as emissions of greenhouse gases generated by deforestation is significant.

The World Bank is supporting Brazil and Mozambique’s south-south cooperation on the matter, particularly in sustainable rural development. To that effect, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) spanning a broad range of issues, from land management and biodiversity to climate change mitigation and adaptation was signed on May 11 in Maputo between Brazil and Mozambique. Some of the specific learning objectives include effective public policy reforms for environment and conservation agriculture; innovative measures to increase land regularization; planting technologies for restored areas; value chain development and the promotion of rural smallholder entrepreneurship; and the potential for public-private partnerships to provide rural credit streams for smallholders and agribusinesses.

Reduce deforestation, restore wildlife and biodiversity habitats, and improving rural livelihoods are some of the objectives of the MoU. Women carry wood bundles in Zambezia Province. Photo: Andrea Borgarello/World Bank.

“We are pleased with this MoU with Brazil and the World Bank. We look forward to learning from Brazil’s commendable efforts to promote sustainable rural development,” said Oldemiro Baloi, Mozambique’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. “This MoU is also unique in that it is a tripartite agreement between two countries with a long history of collaboration, and a key development partner.”

Brazil and Mozambique share many similar challenges and opportunities; they are both internationally recognized for their natural resources, ecological richness and biodiversity hotspots, and both grapple with resource exploitation challenges.  With experience in supporting natural resource dependent communities and managing large forest ecosystems, Brazil offers capacity in areas relevant to Mozambique’s efforts to enhance the living conditions of its rural population and promote sustainable natural resource management.

Mozambique is now the largest recipient of South-South cooperation from Brazil in Africa. “We are happy to strengthen this relationship through this MoU” says Aloysio N. Ferreira, Minister of Foreign Affairs Brazil (Itamaraty). “We remain available and eager to contribute to Mozambique’s efforts towards the promotion of sustainable rural development, and glad to learn about Mozambique’s experiences.


Handshake following the MoU signing between Brazil’s Minister of External Affairs (Left), Mozambique’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (Center), and WB Country Director for Mozambique (Right). 

Photo: Gustavo Mahoque/World Bank

The MoU is aligned with the World Bank’s supported government of Mozambique priorities in the form of financial and technical support to several operations, including the Mozambique Forest Investment project (MozFIP); the Agriculture and Natural Resources Landscape Management Project (Sustena); the Conservation Areas for Biodiversity and Development (MozBio); the REDD+ Readiness Support Project; the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Local Communities (MozDGM); and other analytical work and technical assistance.

As Mark Lundell, the World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles, put it “This MoU underscores the World Bank’s commitment to supporting both Brazil and Mozambique realize their potential in rural development through a landscape approach to sustainable management of natural resources such as forestry and agriculture.”

He also said that the Bank’s overall strategy emphasizes improving the quality of life of the ‘bottom 20% of the population’, a large portion of which lives in rural areas in both countries. “Hence, agriculture, forestry and land management are key sectors to achieve the Bank’s objectives,” he concluded.