Implementation of the NBSAP
Malawi adopted its first NBSAP in 2006. Its implementation has been slow, uncoordinated and poorly monitored however certain successes have been achieved. Examples include the promotion of species and habitat restoration programs; increase in the population and distribution ranges of rare and threatened species; design and implementation of in situ and ex situ agricultural diversity conservation programmes with full participation of the local communities; strengthening of policies and legislation to enhance biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing; development of cost-effective invasive species management programmes; strengthening of the participation of communities and the private sector as equal partners in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use and equitable benefit-sharing; capacity-building of institutions to collect, interpret, manage and disseminate quality and relevant biodiversity information and biological collections effectively and efficiently; and the strengthening of institutional capacity to manage biodiversity information.
Malawi is finalizing its revised NBSAP for the 2015-2025 period. Sixteen national biodiversity targets aligned with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have already been developed (see: http://www.cbd.int/countries/targets/?country=mw).
Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Genetic resources of different plant species are conserved at the National Plant Genetic Resource Centre, Agricultural Research Stations, Botanical Gardens, academic institutions and the Forestry Research Institute of Malawi. As of 2012, the gene banks of the Plant Genetic Resource Centre had over 4,613 accessions from 32 species and, of these, 4,097 are seed samples and 516 are vegetative materials collected from all districts in Malawi.
An inventory of invasive alien species is currently being developed. Malawi is observing and appropriately monitoring incidences of new IAS and informing the public. For example, Blacken Fern and its pathways have been identified in Nyika Plateau and programmes are being developed to control and eradicate it. Similar effort has been implemented in Mulanje where management plans to eradicate Pinus patula, which competes with Mulanje Cedar, have been developed and implemented.
The Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme is promoting solar drying of fish, as well as energy-saving fish-smoking kilns that reduce the use of firewood by 60%.
Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)
Malawi has developed a Resource Mobilization Strategy for promoting investment opportunities and public-private partnerships related to biodiversity management, as well as for mainstreaming biodiversity management in the national development agenda. For example, African Parks Limited has a concession with the Government to manage Majete Wildlife Reserve. This arrangement has improved the management of biodiversity resources in the reserve and has also increased revenue collection.
Considerations for biodiversity have been integrated in most of the Government’s sectoral policies, especially those that trigger land use changes such as agricultural, land, irrigation and mining policies. These sectors are required by law to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) prior to implementing projects that have potential impacts on biodiversity.
Since the formulation of the NBSAP in 2006, biodiversity issues have been mainstreamed into Malawi’s policies, strategies and plans. At the national level, biodiversity has been integrated in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II while, at the local level, biodiversity has been integrated into District Development Plans. Notably, Lilongwe City Council is in the process of developing a Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (LBSAP).
The Forestry Policy has been reviewed and now integrates issues of biodiversity management, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). Also, the Climate Change Policy has been developed, promoting activities on REDD+, PES, Biodiversity offset and Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM).
Human and institutional capacity has been improved through institutions of higher learning, with Mzuzu University, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the University of Malawi having introduced courses and programs on biodiversity.
The Government has approved protocols to implement the “Polluter Pays Principle”.
Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation
Malawi’s revised NBSAP (2015-2025) which is currently being finalized has an associated monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure its effective implementation.