Stakeholder engagement is the process by which we actively reach out to people who may have an interest in the development of the Mozambique LNG Project.

Stakeholder Engagement Plan

Project stakeholder engagement activities are guided by the Stakeholder Engagement Plan. This plan describes the project context, identifies stakeholders, defines our approach to stakeholder engagement, and describes the operational structure, methods, and resources for implementing the plan. The Plan was designed to comply with the requirements of Mozambican legislation and relevant international standards.

The aim of the Plan is to develop and maintain constructive relationships with the project’s key stakeholders. Therefore, the activities of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan focus on:

  1. Promote awareness, understanding and recognition of the positions and interests of interested parties.
  2. Facilitate relational, operational, and programmatic engagement with project stakeholders.
  3. Support the project’s environmental and social management plans and establish a basis for ongoing relationships during the operation phase.
  4. Ensure the availability and effectiveness of a community grievance mechanism.

Scope of the plan

The Stakeholder Engagement Plan focuses on community stakeholders in the project’s area of influence, which includes the Afungi Peninsula, the Palma, and Olumbi Administrative Posts and, more broadly, the Palma District. The Plan recognizes three broad groups of community stakeholders: (1) communities affected by resettlement, (2) directly affected communities, and (3) indirectly affected communities.

The main elements of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan are:

  • Content planning and development
  • Community-led stakeholder engagement
  • A community grievance mechanism

Content planning and development

To drive community stakeholder engagement, we established the content planning and development (CDP) function. PDC responsibilities include:

  • Develop an ongoing agenda of project activities over three months, ensuring visibility of activities and informing planning and stakeholder engagement activities.
  • Identify and promote diverse engagement methods, such as community stakeholder engagement team development, IEC materials, community radio and theater productions.
  • Produce information, education, and communication (IEC) materials on all project activities – including construction, environmental and social management plans – to support all engagement activities.
  • Establish and maintain community bulletin boards and nkutano (community meeting spaces)

Community Stakeholder Engagement

The community stakeholder engagement team is made up of community liaison officers (ALCs) and community facilitators. ALCs are assigned to specified communities as the main channel of engagement for village leaders, religious leaders, families, and the men, women, and youth who make up each community. The team is responsible for the following types of engagement:

  • Relational engagement – focused on establishing and maintaining relationships with individuals and groups in the community; Operational engagement – ensuring that the community is aware of and understands the operational aspects of project construction, including facilitating recruitment of local labor and workforce.
  • Programmatic engagement – Support across all environmental and social programs

Community grievance mechanism

Recognizing the importance of an accessible, fair, and transparent complaints mechanism, we have established one within our Stakeholder Engagement Plan to manage complaints and grievances related to the project. The complaints process consists of five steps, starting with receiving the complaint and ending with verifying the complainant’s satisfaction with the outcome of the process. The process flowchart provides an overview of the sequential steps followed.

  1. Receive, register, and confirm receipt of a complaint.
  2. Investigate and verify the complaint and, if necessary, collaboratively determine resolution options.
  3. Agree resolution actions with the complainant.
  4. Implement the agreed corrective action and,
  5. Check the result with the complainant.

How does the project ensure stakeholders are aware of the community grievance mechanism?

The mechanism and avenues for registering a complaint are widely publicized in the Project Area of Operation as part of our ongoing formal and informal stakeholder engagement activities. Information, education and communication (IEC) materials that explain how the mechanism works and how communities can access it are displayed on notice boards in village nkutano (meeting spaces) and public places including the Palma Information Centre, communicated verbally at community and public meetings, aired on Palma Community Radio and is made accessible on the Project website. Specific information is also incorporated in all compensation and resettlement agreements.

How may communities register a complaint?

Complaints may be registered in person or through a trusted representative. Complaints may be submitted verbally (face-to-face, by phone) or in writing (letter, SMS/ WhatsApp, E-mail) through any of the following channels:

  • Community Liaison Officers (CLO), who maintains a presence in communities on an ongoing basis
  • Any Project representative, contractor or subcontractor with whom communities may come in contact
  • Community Facilitators (CF), residents and thus individuals who are known in their communities and maintain a permanent presence
  • Community Leaders
  • Community Resettlement Committee (CRC) members that also serves as the community grievance management groups
  • District Resettlement Committee (DRC)
  • Delivered to Project offices (Maputo, Pemba, Afungi)
  • Project Information Office in Palma Sede
  • Project green line, which is a telephone line that is operated free of charge

Complaints can also be delivered verbally or in writing in village nkutano, which serves as the meeting place with the project in communities.

To accommodate religious and cultural customs and preferences, female CLOs are available and trained to receive grievances in confidence from female complainants.

How much does it cost for a grievance to be resolved?

The community grievance mechanism is operated free of charge. No-one registering a complaint will pay for the complaint to be investigated and followed through to resolution. The phone line is toll-free and costs are incurred by TEPMA1.

How does the use of the community grievance mechanism align with existing community structures?

The Community Resettlement Committees (CRCs) that have been established also serve as community grievance management groups. They have received training to independently receive, record and address complaints and to distinguish complaints and issues to be passed to the project for resolution.

How does the project ensure stakeholders who are not literate can access and use the grievance mechanism?

Many members of host and affected communities are not able to read or write, and we therefore pay particular attention to having face-to-face dialogue and direct interaction with complainants, conversing in the appropriate local language. These measures enable processes, investigations, decisions and outcomes that are clear and understood by community members. Literacy is not a requirement to access and use the community grievance mechanism.

In addition, Community Facilitators often participate in discussions to ensure that complaints are understood and recorded accurately.

How long does it take to address a grievance?

The project will acknowledge receipt within 3 days of receiving a complaint, and endeavour to implement remedial action, when appropriate, within 30 days of the complaint being received.

May stakeholders appeal if they are not satisfied with the outcome of a grievance?

For complex matters, or where the parties are otherwise unable to agree on an acceptable resolution, the project and the complainant may mutually agree to further negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party.

How does the project ensure confidentiality of grievances?

The project seeks each complainant’s consent to use information provided for the purposes of processing a grievance. All grievance records and communication with complainants are received and treated in confidence and accessible only to individuals with a legitimate need to know.

Does the project maintain an official, auditable trail of all grievances received?

All grievances are registered and their resolution tracked in a grievance database. Each complaint is assigned a unique complaint number which is used throughout the process. All information, findings and engagements related to all grievances are captured in this database.

Does the project publicize reports on its grievance performance and are these reports made available to communities?

Regular reports are prepared to provide an overview of grievance performance against key performance indicators (KPIs). The environmental performance reports that are submitted to the Government of Mozambique every six months contain a section describing community grievances. Similarly, the Environmental and Social Performance Reports that are prepared for project lenders contain information on the performance of the grievance mechanism.

During quarterly update meetings with civil society organisations in Maputo and Pemba, the Project presents a summary of community grievances.

At Palma and Afungi level, communities, including leaders and community structures, and civil society are updated on a monthly basis on the grievance mechanism and the resolution of complaints. During the updates, information such as the type of grievances, noticeable trends if any, and issues are discussed. This regular update allows for discussion and exchange, keeping in mind due respect for confidentiality. Individual complainants are kept up to date on progress with the resolution of their complaints on an ongoing basis.

Involvement with civil society organizations

To complement the community-focused SEP, we have also developed a Civil Society Organizations/Non-Governmental Organizations Involvement Plan. The CSO/NGO Involvement Plan addresses their involvement at national, provincial and district levels. At national and provincial levels, CSO/NGO involvement occurs individually and through periodic update meetings. In Palma, the project seeks to hold monthly meetings with the Palma Civil Society Platform. These commitments reflect the importance of CSOs/NGOs as project stakeholders and our commitment to transparent and regular engagement throughout the project construction phase.

Independent CSO/NGO monitoring platform

The Mozambique LNG Project supported the Civil Society Support Mechanism Foundation (MASC) in creating the Independent Civil Society Monitoring Platform (ICSMP) to monitor the environmental and social performance of the project. This effort aims to improve awareness, understanding and participation, bringing a Mozambican perspective to project performance.