Scenarios for the future of the Northern Mozambique Channel

Northern Mozambique Channel // SDG 14 scenarios

The idea to develop scenarios to help guide future decisions and achievement of the SDGs in the Northern Mozambique Channel (NMC) emerged from the last few years of effort, streamlined in 2017 under the UN Oceans Conference and Voluntary Commitments on SDG 14 (see December newsletter, p. 16).

The third and last of a series of workshops implementing a “Transformative Scenarios Process” (TSP) was held in Zanzibar in March 2018, building on prior workshops in Seychelles (May 2017) and Maputo (November 2017). Four narratives describing imaginary trajectories from 2018 to 2035 for countries of the Northern Mozambique Channel have emerged. Participants to the TSP work identified the type of governance (good versus poor) and the level of investment (high vs. low) to be the primary uncertainties that will determine the countries’ futures. Against these, the interplay of multiple other factors – less uncertain, but nevertheless equally powerful – could influence their futures – climate change, political processes, health and education policies, etc.

Elements already affecting the region – such as the presence or not of natural gas reserves, and investment from foreign donors such as through China’s One Belt One Road initiative, are built into the stories. Mirroring the ocean focus of SDG 14, the stories follow a maritime and marine narrative, with titles evocative of both the sea and the challenges faced by societies – ‘slow but sure’, ‘riding the wave’, ‘pirate ship’ and ‘all pain no gain’. The narratives are intended to illustrate how different forces may act in synergy or antagony with one another, and how decisions by leaders can make one outcome more likely than another. Different elements of multiple narratives may relate to the current reality of countries, as well as their potential futures.

The scenario outputs will be will be launched at the Nairobi Convention Conference of Parties in August 2018. Now the main work will be to implement and use them to support real decision-making processes – such as in Marine Spatial Planning in the NMC or in WIO countries, and in ongoing SDG 14 processes.

The final scenario outputs will be posted here from the begiinning of June 2018, and will include:

  1. 1- videos – of each scenario (2 minutes each) and an overall vide of the process (11 minutes).
  2. 2- powerpoint slide deck for presentation and discussion
  3. 3- 16-page summary booklet
  4. 4- technical report with full description of the scenarios

An independent website will be set up for the scenarios, at: