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April 2005

Announcement of a new publication

Examining access to natural resources and linkages to sustainable livelihoods

Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper 17

The overall purpose of this paper, drafted by Simon Norfolk for the Livelihood Support Programme, is to analyse, using a livelihoods approach, the extent to which the regulatory changes to natural resource access and management in Mozambique have had their intended effect and to identify and explore the critical issues that require further attention.

This paper shows how most rural livelihoods in Mozambique, while highly dependent on access to natural resources, are not constructed on the "narrow" use of land for cultivation. It examines the extent to which new natural resource policies in Mozambique have become aware of this diversity and looks at some of the initial evidence of the impact of these policies.

The main aspects covered by this study include: the extent to which the voice of the rural poor has been and can be included within policy formulation and decision-making processes around natural resource management; the extent to which the rural poor are able to make claims upon and capitalise from new opportunities created by the policies; the extent to which the policies and/or implementation initiatives are having differential impacts upon different segments of the rural population (i.e. the extent to which the implementation of the various policies is supporting or undermining the livelihood strategies of the poorest members of the population); the impact of the differing interpretations accorded to new policy concepts and legal tools by the various mediating institutions and processes that interface with poor peoples’ access to natural resources (including governmental, non-governmental, community and ‘traditional’ institutions); and, the effect that new policies and approaches may be having on the nature of disputes related to natural resource access or control and the extent to which these changes are supportive of or detrimental to peoples’ livelihoods.

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