With any tourism project in Mozambique, there are a number of licences that need to be awarded before one can legally go ahead with the project. Sadly, not all developers adhere to these rules, but that is something they can worry about when they hit a snag in their game. We, on the other hand, have spent the last few years making sure we get all these licences lined up in a row, and not we wait only for the final piece of the puzzle, the Environmental Licence.

 

To this end, we recently completed the final community consultations, which are needed to go ahead with the final report which then gets submitted for approval and finally, the licence itself can be issued.

 

The first meeting was more of a public discussion of the environmental report concerning our project. This took place in the Girassol Conference Room on Friday, 5 October 2007 at 9am. Attending this meeting was a government official from the Tourism Department, 3 representatives from Micoa, the Minister for Minerals and Energy in Nampula Province, someone from the Finance Department, the Port Authority from Angoche District, some of our guys, some interested friends and was headed by our two consultants, Hassane, an environmental impact consultant, and Alice, a top biologist in Moz.

 

Our project was introduced, various negative and positive impacts were discussed and possible solutions proposed. This was followed by some questions and suggestions from the ‘public’ which will then be included in the report. On a whole the meeting went well, and there was general agreement from all. Some good points were raised and these were duly answered. From Energy, why won’t we be using power from Cabora Bassa, answer, because putting power lines along the ocean bed is environmentally unfriendly and prawn trawling practices in the area could cause problems with the cables. But we are getting power to the mainland area soon! The rest will be generators and perhaps solar energy. From Angoche, will fishermen still be allowed to stay on the island when there is a resort built and how to we deal with this in a socially conscious manner. Yes, they are allowed to stay overnight in bad conditions and there will be an allocated space for this. We also require fish from the local fishing communities but we just ask that they don’t fish off our reefs.

 

Mostly, I got the impression that there is some excitement over seeing this project come to fruition. It will be one of the biggest tourism projects in Nampula Province and it will be a great boost to the local communities.

 

It is great to see how, in a place where so many people cry corruption, that there is such importance placed on the public availability of information on new projects such as ours and on open discussion of such projects!

 

Next, we have the community consultation in our actual local community, which is Larde village, in Moma District…

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