The Malawi Constitution, Chapter III, Section 13 (d) calls upon the State "to manage the environment responsibly in order to:

  1. prevent the degradation of the environment;
  2. provide a healthy living and working environment for the people of Malawi;
  3. accord full recognition to the rights of future generations by means of environmental protection and sustainable development of natural resources, and
  4. conserve and enhance biological diversity of Malawi."
Malawi participated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), popularly referred to as The Earth Summit, which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June, 1992. The principal outcome of the Conference is Agenda 21, an action plan for the whole world from now to the 21st Century and beyond, elaborating strategies and integrated programme measures to halt and reverse the effects of environmental degradation and to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in all countries.

In pursuance of the constitutional responsibility and in response to the agreement made under the Rio Conference, Malawi's first task has been to produce a National Environmental Action Plan which details Malawi's environmental situation at the moment, with proposals on how environmental degradation may be slowed down, arrested or even reversed.

The National Environmental Action Plan has been produced using information gathered from both the private and public sectors, including the Non-Governmental Organizations; the local communities as well as from external consultants in specialised fields. It is, however, a national effort which belongs to the Malawi people.

The National Environmental Action Plan should be used as a reference document by all planners and developers including the donor community, to ensure that environmental protection and management is integrated into development programmes; and by all people from all walks of life to ensure sustainable development which will allow future generations to enjoy equally the natural resources that we are enjoying today.

 There are a lot of recommendations on what actions should be taken regarding specific degradations or environmental concerns. The people to undertake the different actions have also been mentioned. It is, however, everyone's responsibility to ensure that our natural resources are properly utilized and not to look for a specific regulation in order to respond.

I wish to urge all Malawians and both national and international investors, to follow the recommendations on actions stated in this document, and the ensuing laws and regulations on the management of the environment.


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