Chapter 7: Conclusion


Through the NEAP process nine issues threatening the environment and natural resource base of Malawi have been analyzed and documented. These are: soil erosion, deforestation, water resources degradation and depletion, depletion of fish stocks, loss of biodiversity, human habitat degradation, high population growth, climatic changes and air pollution.

For the first four issues calculations of their social costs have been made. The cost of soil erosion has been estimated at MK1, 155 million (US$ 165 million) annually, which corresponds to 8% of the country's 1994 Gross Domestic Product (GDP); while that of deforestation has been estimated at MK385 million (US$ 55 million), about 3% of GDP. Furthermore, the cost of the water pollution and lack of sanitation has been estimated at MK105 million (US$ 15 million) annually, which is almost 0.8% of GDP. A similar social cost of fishery resource depletion was estimated at MK36 million (US$8.4), approximating 0.2% of the GDP.

In the WRAP, actions addressing all environmental issues in Malawi have been listed and those responsible for implementing at central and local level identified. All institutions should undertake the actions identified in the NEAP whether they touch on changing policies or merely strengthen the execution of existing responsibilities. Central Government institutions will be accountable for the implementation of these actions for which an annual reporting system will be established.

In support of these individual actions the Government will put emphasis on creating the necessary conditions for their implementation, of which the most important ones the following:

a) Legislation

The ongoing revision of Pectoral legislation addressing specific environmental issues will be strengthened. Special effort will be made to review scope and content, proper identification of party or parties responsible for environmental damages and to ensure adequate penalty and enforcement mechanisms.

A draft act for an environmental framework law is presently under review. This act deals with such cross-sectoral issues as overall environmental policy formulation, environmental planning, environmental quality criteria and standards, environmental impact assessment, pollution of environmental media, institutional co-ordination and conflict resolution, and the monitoring of implementation of environmental policies by sectoral agencies. As a follow-up of the NEAP, the Government will give special priority to ensuring that such an environmental framework law is enacted as soon as possible.

In order to ensure improved management of the country's environment special priority will be given to establishing the necessary legal basis for Environmental Impact Assessment as part of project preparation and appraisal.

b) Institutional framework and strengthening.

To ensure adequate institutional framework for the management of natural resources and the protection of the environment in general and the implementation of the NEAP and recommended actions in particular, the National Committee for the Environment (NCE) will be given a pivotal role. This committee will be broadened to include NGOs and will report to the National Economic Council. Priority will be given to strengthen both the central policy and coordination institution DREA as well as the environmental capacity of relevant ministries and departments. As a mechanism for improving institutional coordination and environmental management, an environmental monitoring and information system will be established.

c) Awareness raising

The implementation of the NEAP depends on the participation of the Malawian population and its institutions at all levels. The Government will therefore launch a major national environmental awareness campaign to prepare the ground for NEAP implementation. 

d) Environmental Investment Programme (EIP)

As part and follow-up of the NEAP, an Environmental Investment Programme is prepared in support of the Action Plan. Implementation of these EIP projects requires both changed priorities in Government budget allocations and external financial support from donors. The EIP will therefore be closely coordinated with the Malawi Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), of which it will eventually be part. However, the project profiles provided in the preliminary EIP will need to be translated into actual project proposals, which will be formulated as a second stage.

e) Review of NEAP

The NEAP document should be reviewed after three or five years.


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