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Photo: Janne Gullestad.Photo: Janne Gullestad

Environment, Climate and Natural Resource Management

Last updated: 08.10.2014 // Information about Norwegian Development Cooperation in Malawi focusing on Environment, Climate and Natural Resource Management.

2013: NK 30 million ≈ USD 5 million (USD 1 ≈ NOK 6)

Malawi’s economy is based on agricultural activity, and the country’s income is directly dependent on the sustainable management of natural resources such as soil and water. Rapid population growth has triggered an expansion of agricultural lands at the expense of forests and wetlands, which in turn has caused environmental degradation. Norwegian agricultural programmes all connect agricultural productivity with sustainable environmental practices to help reverse this trend by, among other things, spreading sustainable agricultural technologies and the use of fuel-efficient cook stoves. The cook stoves are an important component of the livelihood programmes, in promoting energy efficiency.

Malawi is a country of great natural contrasts, ranging from low lying, riverine valleys to high mountain plateaus. The country also boasts several lakes, the largest of which is Lake Malawi. Environmental degradation is threatening several of these natural habitats and the wildlife that live there, and the Embassy supports programmes that help protect two such areas, namely Mulanje Mountain in the South and the Nyika Plateau in the North. Norway’s contribution to the programmes has assisted the Malawian Government in limiting illegal and unmonitored deforestation in these areas.

Malawi’s climate is also experiencing change with the annual rainy season becoming shorter and less predictable. These are changes that require adaptation and response, both at national and local level, and the Embassy has supported the development of national climate change policies, as well as the strengthening of local resilience to climate related natural disasters.

Results example (source: Norad)

The amount of trees being planted increased from 273,306 in 2007 to 10.9 million in 2012. Through protection, management and full participation from communities in Malawi, areas that are under undergoing natural restoration has grown from 875 hectare in 2007 and 2008 to 3,087 hectare in 2011 and 2012.

Similarly, households using more efficient cook stoves increased from 67 in 2007 and 2008 to 14,109 in 2011 and 2012. The ovens are more efficient and produce less smoke and fumes. This increased use of ovens translates into saving 330 hectars of forest annually.

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