Chapter 2: The Neap Process

The Neap Process

The Malawi NEAP has been prepared through a broad integrative and participatory process as shown in Figures-2.1. and 2.2.  The process was initiated by 18 task forces, based on sectors, resources or environmental problems as follows:

1. National Context;
2. Fisheries;
3. Forestry;
4. Water Resources;
5. Agriculture;
6. Energy and Mineral Resources;
7. Industry;
8. Tourism;
9. Transport and Communication;
10. Health and Sanitation; 
11. Land Use Planning and Management;
12. Natural Hazards;
13. Population and Human Settlement;
14. Biological Conservation,
15. Policies and Institutional Framework;
16. Education and Public Information,
17. Research; and
18. Pollution Control and Waste Management.
 Membership of task forces was drawn from Government Ministries and Departments, parastatals, including the University of Malawi, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. Through the task forces 185 persons from 51 institutions were involved in the preparation of the NEAP. The 18 task force reports provided descriptions, analyses, and identification of environmental issues as well as recommended remedial actions and project proposals. These reports  (see Appendix 1), which were presented by September 1993, constituted technical background to the NEAP and are available to the public. The task force members also participated in the NEAP process through regular consultations as shown in Figure 2.2.

To ensure the participation of the local population to the NEAP process, eight consultative district workshops, each with the participation of three districts, were held between November 1993 and January 1994. Participants in these workshops included government agents, politician, traditional authorities, journalists, and representatives of the private sector, and women income generating groups from each district. The workshops reflected the multiparty development of Malawi as eventually all parties were represented.

The main objective of the workshops was to involve local communities in the identification of localized environmental problems and in the formulation of possible solutions. Nearly nine hundred people attended the workshops as shown in Table 2.1 while the grouping of the districts for the workshops is shown in Map 2

Each consultative workshop lasted 3 days. The preparation for the workshops involved a planning meeting with departments in direct contact with the rural communities to determine the type and number of participants but also to agree on the objectives of the workshops. The list of participants was sent to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) which advised District Commissioners (DCs) to invite the participants accordingly.

During each workshop, the NEAP Secretariat introduced the objectives of the NEAP to the participants who thereafter worked in groups according to their district. This was followed by discussions in a plenary session. The groups identified environmental problems, possible solutions and principal players. Each workshop produced reports on the proceedings, specifying for each district environmental issues and recommended actions. These reports, initially produced in the local language, were translated into English by the NEAP Secretariat and are presented as Volume 2 of the NEAP. Hence constituted important inputs into the NEAP by the local population and will be the basis for future preparation of District Environmental Action Plans (DEAP).

The national media, both the newspapers and the radio, also played a key role by reporting regularly on the preparation of the NEAP.

From February through May 1994 improved NEAP drafts were submitted for consultations and scrutiny. The first draft was submitted to chairpersons and lead-person of all 18 task forces for written comments. The second draft was submitted for comments to Heads of Ministries and Departments, General Managers of parastatal organisations, Non-governmental Organizations and Private Sector as well as the donor community, all together 135 institutions. The same draft was then discussed at a 3 days National Workshop in May 1994. Thereafter the third NEAP draft was presented to and accepted for adoption by the National Committee for the Environment (NCE). The Government has formally adopted this document as its environmental policy document.

All together over 1,300 people from nearly 85 institutions participated in the process (see Appendix 2).


Contents | Foreword | Acknowledgments 
Chapters:  | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven
Lists: | Figures | Maps | Tables | Appendices