Even though the primary objective of Africa Future Wildlife Restoration Lda’s rehabilitation of Coutada 5 centres on the restoration of the extremely denuded wildlife, the host of social parameters that must also be considered, are almost as important. The Company thus accepted the principles of co-management and community-based natural resources management, whereby the maximum possible involvement of the local people in any development aspect that may impact on their daily lives, are ensured.

The social policy is especially important as far as the involuntary resettlement of households is concerned. Since the Company has already started with the planning and establishment of a core wildlife-wilderness block of around 210 000 ha, which block will be restocked with the full spectrum of herbivore and carnivore species that were extirpated, it is an unfortunate but inescapable fact that the people who have settled there during recent times, will have to be resettled. The company’s resettlement policy is in line with the generally accepted principles for resettlement as laid down by for example the World Bank and the IUCN, and will be undertaken in close collaboration with the Government of Mozambique. The Company will ensure that all the resettled households are socio-economically better off after their resettlement.

To allow close involvement of the to-be resettled households and the host communities in the process, a number of community structures are currently being established. Administrative, religious and traditional leaders will all play an important role in this regard. Based on the preliminary results of a baseline Social impact Assessment, a Resettlement Action Plan has been prepared. This plan is augmented by a Community Development Plan and a Public Consultation and Disclosure Plan, thus ensuring that the processes of resettlement and development are dealt with in a structured manner, and that all the involved parties are kept fully informed. All these plans are already available in draft format.

The Company will also address the current ecologically destructive agricultural practise of slash-and-burn or shifting cultivation, and will, in time, have it replaced with modern techniques for smallholder agricultural ventures, such as permaculture. The venture will be linked to a proper training programme, that will hopefully lead to firstly better trained farmers, and secondly to an appreciable increase in agricultural production.

With regards to general socio-economic upliftment, the Company’s project will eventually lead to the creation of around 400 permanent employment opportunities. In a region where employment opportunities are currently almost non-existent, this fact will be hugely beneficial to the economy of the region. The Company accepted the policy of preferential employment for local people, and will only employ ‘outsiders’ where no suitably qualified or experienced local people are available. Skills training will form the backbone of the Company’s objective to better equip the employees to become part of a successful modernised society, and to break the shackles of poverty that currently keeps the region impoverished.’