The Environmental Management Bill, 2013


Last month Parliament on Malawi enacted the Environmental Management Act 2013, which will make provision for the protection and management of the environment and the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources and for matters connectd therewith.

Find the Bill in the Learning center. 


Regional Training Workshop on NAPs for Anglophone African Least Developed Countries


CISONECC Secretariat is attending the Regional National Adaptation Plan training workshop currently underway from 27th February to 3rd March at Bingu International Convection Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe. The meeting brings together experts from Anglophone African countries to discuss process made by individual countries on the NAP and climate change financing. 


Promoting effective adaptation plans and policies: The Joint Principles for Adaptation (JPA)

Despite our insignificant contribution of 0.04% to the world’s greenhouse gas inventory, Malawi continues to face impacts of the changing climate. To the rural communities in Malawi, changes in climate are vivid with tales on its impacts on food, water, shelter and culture among others. Science on the trends on climate variability in some areas of Malawi correlate with indigenous knowledge on changes in rainfall patters and hanging temperatures. For countries like Malawi, adaptation is therefore not an option but a must.


At national level, climate change and variability has multiplier effects and is intrinsically linked to all other development sectors including agriculture, education, health, infrastructure and fisheries. Climate change and variability threatens the ability of Malawi to fulfil national and international development commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global efforts to address the causes and impacts of climate change led to the adoption of the Paris Climate agreement in 2015. The 2015 Paris Climate Deal sets a historical standard in achieving the global goal of addressing climate change but falls short in making countries make ambitious commitments to address the root cause of climate change and support countries who affected by the impacts.


Strong global frameworks on climate change have the potential to expedite results from national initiatives and leverage on supporting systems at global level. However, this entails that countries affected by climate change effectively plan, implement and monitor their adaptation plans and policies at all relevant levels. Attaining good adaptation is directly related to understanding the main principles that form effective adaptation. The following seven principles are termed the “Joint Principles for Adaptation” are a benchmark of what civil society organisations across the global south consider a benchmark for good adaptation planning.


Foremost, adaptation plans, policies and programmes should be formed and implemented in a participatory and inclusive manner where multiple stakeholders are involved in defining and selecting best adaptation options. Of the multi stakeholders, affected communities remain key and their experiences and knowledge should be incorporated whilst ensuring that communication is made in ways that the affected communities can understand and engage with.


Funding for climate change, whether public or private, is vital to implement plans and policies on climate change adaptation effectively. Finance for climate change adaptation should therefore be utilized efficiently and managed with transparency and accountability. Communities and all other stakeholders need to be involved in monitoring and they should have access to all information on how the funds are used. Projects by public and non-state actors ought to have transparency mechanisms and have a responsibility to the communities affected.


Besides simply allocating finance for climate change adaptation, there is need to have a balance of investments to build skills and capacities, for infrastructure and service delivery. A balance in investments ensures that the intervention is sustainable and affected communities are rightfully empowered to address any future hazards or risks related to climate change and variability.


Most climate change adaptation programmes, plans and policies have a similar goal; contributing to the resilience of groups who are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Climate change adaptation initiatives therefore need to recognize and take into account the differentiated need and capacities of women, men, boys and girls. The programmes should also protect people’s livelihoods and promote social cohension. On the other hand, local level plans such as village action plans, district development plans and district contingency plans should also contribute to the resilience of communities and ecosystems.


As the climate is changing, our programming needs to consider the recent and best available knowledge to effectively identify strategies and interventions. Recent scientific and indigenous knowledge should inform climate change adaptation planning while modifying existing projects and programmes. While the former ensures that plans are based on the latest information on vulnerabilities and exposure to risk, the former involves making efforts to climate-proof existing programmes including developmental projects. Climate information therefore needs to be accessible and usable for stakeholders and audiences affected.



Due to its crosscutting natuThe Joint Principles for Adaptation  (JPA)re and complexity, climate change adaptation requires a comprehensive approach to build the resilience of communities and ecosystems. The Joint Principles for Adaptation (JPA) provide   a guide for public and non-state actors in planning, implementing or monitoring initiatives and frameworks on climate change adaptation. While the principles are not exhaustive, they provide an acceptable benchmark of  good adaptation frameworks. 

Chinadango: The Hope of Fisp

Malawi can evidently attest to the change in climate that has been taking place in the past years. There has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of the impacts of climate change which often include floods, drought and prolonged dry spells. Malawi being a rain fed agricultural economy can but worry with these happenings erratic rains and droughts have brought numerous problems in the agricultural sector to have also affected people’s livelihoods 

The impacts of climate change and poor natural resource management have led to the reduction in agricultural production and water scarcity. Most communities however, have a limited capacity to cope with such effects due to their heavy dependence on rain fed agriculture and natural resources for their livelihood and other compounding socio-economic factors. 

With these changes in climate come phenomena like floods that cause soil erosion which results in loss of soil nutrients. Farmers then have to add chemical fertilizers to restore the lost nutrients. However these fertilizers are not only expensive but in the long term that are harmful to the environment. The government of Malawi launched a fertilizer subsidy programme that doesn’t reach out to everyone and its impacts are yet to be seen.

To remedy these difficulties under the ready for anything project, the women in COWFA have been training on how they can produce their own locally made manure mixture called “CHINADANGO” to substitute the expensive chemical fertilizers. The locally made fertilizer is made from mixing commercial fertilizers and some locally sourced ingredients:

•2 X 20 litre buckets of Madeya

•2 x 20 litre buckets of manure

•5 Kgs of preferred commercial fertilizes

•5 litres of water

The mixture of the ingredients above after several days in a plastic bag make an astonishing 50kg bag of organic fertilizers. A one “fifty kilograms” bag of “Chinadango” can be applied on a hectare of land both for maize and soya beans. The excess manure is sold to other members of the community at K8, 000.00 per bag weighing 50 kilograms.

Chinadango has showcased to be a very affordable and efficient fertilizer. From observations it was observed that farmers that had used Chinadango had moisture retention in their fields. Not only has this enhanced growth but in the face of no rains it has also reduced the farmer’s vulnerability to the no rains situation .With most Malawians heavily relying on fertiliser subsidies, this technology seems to be the hope where Fisp has cast some doubt.