Justiça Ambiental (JA!) means environmental justice, while ‘JA’ means ‘now’, in Portuguese. JA! was formally registered in 2004, but founded by a group of friends who were concerned about the manner in which Mozambique was developing in the unregulated global economy.
JA raises public awareness campaigns against damaging environmental practices in Mozambique and focuses on extensive field research and supporting communities faced with environmental and social threatsOUR MISSION
We are concerned that our leaders are uncritically adopting a pattern of destructive foreign-investment-driven industrial development. With our fledgling democracy, relatively weak civil society, inaccessible legal system and a majority of our population dependent upon the natural environment for their survival, we worry about sacrificing our country’s natural heritage, sustainable livelihood and environmental health of our people for the sake of corporate profit.
At JA we view the environment holistically, including both social and bio-physical components. Therefore, a key component of environmental justice is equal and equitable access to healthy and safe forms of socio-economic development and to an environment that provides for the sustainable livelihoods of our people and future generations. We recognize that the people most heavily impacted by environmental degradation are often economically marginalised and from ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic minorities. These people are disempowered by exclusionary and oppressive decision-making processes.
- Equal rights to a healthy environment;
- Empowering those affected by environmental malpractices;
- Ensuring environmental justice and equity;
- Demanding a healthy and safe environment for all of us and future generations.
Destructive and dirty industries globally are looking for safe havens in countries with poor regulatory regimes and they have found a home in Mozambique. At first glance the country shows economic growth and development, but the statistics hide the unsustainable short-term priority for profit and the appropriation of the benefits of growth by an elite.
JA raises public awareness and campaigns against damaging environmental practices in Mozambique. We focus on providing current information through research and support to communities faced with environmental/ social threats and aim to build community awareness and solidarity between communities. We support communities by providing strategic assistance, technical advice and information.
Support to communities is conceived as contributing to democratic environmental governance.
- Integrity and Accountability – We conduct our work with respect and honesty. We hold ourselves accountable to affected communities, donors, partner groups, and the public at large, to act in accordance to our mission and values. We keep our commitments, and expect others to do the same;
- Solidarity and Openness – We support open dialogue and decision-making that is transparent, inclusive and consultative, and that is not influenced by race, gender, religion or any other form of domination. We are a part of a global movement to protect the environment and the people that depend on it, and we collaborate and consult with our partners to strengthen our collective efforts;
- Courage and Safety – We recognise and accept the responsibility to act on our mission while following our values, even under difficult circumstances, and to confront our adversaries openly. We do however carefully assess risks to the personal safety of staff, members, and partners and seek to avoid putting anyone in dangerous situations;
- Accuracy and Resourcefulness – We are committed to rigorous research and analysis, providing accurate information, and basing our work on the best available evidence. We are willing to challenge prevailing models and to seek new, imaginative ways to maximize our effectiveness, both internally and externally. We will not be wasteful with resources nor allow the lack of resources to stop our work, but will do our best with what is available.
At JA, we view the environment holistically, including both social and bio-physical components. Therefore, a key component of environmental justice is equal and equitable access to healthy and safe forms of socio-economic development and to an environment that provides for the sustainable livelihoods of our people and future generations.