The Malawi Government is very concerned about Me environmental problems the nation is facing today, and is therefore fully committed to ensuring that these problems are addressed. 

Environmental degradation in Malawi is increasing every minute, every hour, and every day, due to many causes, of which the principal ones are rapid population growth and poverty. Due to population pressure, for example, continued exploitation of land resources is taking place without much regard for the future. 

Government commitment to address the country's environmental problems is demonstrated in its current policies and programmes which among other things focus on minimising the impact of development activities on the environment. 

In December, 1994, the Govemment adopted a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) whose main objectives were: a) to review sectoral policies and programmes and assess their impact on the environment; b) make proposals for policy changes as necessary for incorporation into development programmes that would ensure protection of the environment, and c) prioritise areas of development that need to be undertaken inorder to promote sustainable development in Malawi. 

To operationalise the NEAP, the Government is now implementing the Environmental Support Programme (ESP), whose overall objective is to integrate environmental concerns into the socio-economic development of the country and to provide for high priority interventions. 

I am very pleased to avail to the people of Malawi, and indeed to the international community, the First Edition of the State of Environment (SOE) report for Malawi which provides an overview of the progress Government has made in addressing environmental issues as stipulated in the NEAP. It is my hope that this report will broaden our understanding of the complexity of environment and development issues and at the same time facilitate implementation of any remedial or rehabilitation programmes to ensure that the degradation of Malawi's natural resources and the environment is reversed. 

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have contributed in one way or another in the preparation and production of is report.

F V  Mayinga Mkandawire, M.P.
Minister of Forestry, Fisheies and Environmental Affairs

 Contents | Foreword  | Acknowlegdements | Editorial Process
Contributors | Preface | Acronyms  | Overview
Chapters: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Appendix I
Lists: Maps | Figures | Tables | Boxes | References