Climate change is already evident in Malawi. Projections for the coming decades suggest more erratic and less predictable rains, more frequent and extended dry periods, and more extreme heat events. The vulnerability of Malawians and their ecosystems to the adverse impacts of climate change is increasing with high population growth, increasing rates of deforestation and land degradation, severe erosion, and poor land management practices.
To meet these challenges, USAID is supporting the Government of Malawi (GoM) in developing a strategy to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) and build capacity for implementing REDD+ programs. To complement these efforts, USAID will launch several major activities in 2014. New investments will support the Statement of Cooperation for the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emissions Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) Initiative that the GoM and the Government of the United States signed in 2013. Through this partnership, USAID and the GoM will strengthen institutional capacity for sustainable land management, track greenhouse gas emissions, and attract financing for low-emission development opportunities. Related investments will increase social, ecological, and economic resilience to climate change and improve biodiversity conservation in threatened freshwater ecosystems.
USAID/Malawi Climate Change programs build capacity for addressing the effects of climate change and encourage low-emission investment opportunities. USAID operationalized a national REDD+ Expert Group within the National Climate Change Program governance framework. Partners are developing a REDD+ Strategy. Study tours to other African countries have increased understanding of cost-effective, feasible approaches to REDD+ planning and financing.
In early 2014, USAID will launch major programs in forest conservation, low-emissions development and climate change adaptation. The first of these activities will build on existing investments to improve Malawi’s readiness to participate in REDD+ and support pilot activities that increase carbon stocks along with food security and health. Investments in low-emissions planning and greenhouse gas monitoring will support Malawi’s National Climate Change Investment plan and unlock financing opportunities.
Building on the latest analysis of Malawi’s climate change vulnerabilities, investments in climate change adaptation will build the capacity of the Fisheries Department to safeguard Malawi’s fisheries and promote sustainable fisheries co-management. Activities will increase scientific understanding of the effects of climate change on Lake Malawi, which has the most biodiverse fish population of any lake in the world, and support approaches that protect both ecosystems and livelihoods.
Sustainable climate change mitigation and adaptation measures increase resiliency and safeguard development gains in other sectors.
Funding (FY 2013)
- Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management
- Departments of Forestry and Environmental Affairs
- U.S. Forest Service
David Chalmers, Environment Team Leader
Last updated: July 14, 2014