Malawi State of Environment and Outlook Report
Malawi is endowed with a diversified natural resource base, including some of the most fertile soils for agricultural use in Southern Africa, closed forest resources covering about 30 percent of the land, abundant water resources and remarkably diverse flora and fauna, of which the uniquely rich fish resources stand out. It has a tropical climate characterized by variable temperature, rainfall and relative humidity. If properly utilized, Malawi’s natural resources can provide the basis for sustainable socio-economic development. However, they are subject to increasing pressure as a result of high population growth, poverty, and a lack of environmental awareness. The result is increased degradation of the environment, with significant loss of soil fertility, soil erosion, serious deforestation, water depletion, pollution and loss of biodiversity. The fragile state of Malawi’s environment poses critical challenges to both human development and economic growth. The 2010 SEOR aims to integrate with the Malawi development framework from the beginning, and thus its main focus is on the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS) and its key thematic areas. These are agriculture and food security, irrigation and water development, transport infrastructure, energy generation and supply, integrated rural xvii development, and prevention and management of nutritional disorders, HIV and AIDS, climate change, environment and natural resources, and Nsanje World Inland port. The SEOR also addresses the key thematic areas of Malawi’s Environmental and Natural Resources Management (ENRM) Action Plan, the Millenium Development Goals, and other major development targets. The 2010 SEOR provides a detailed account of environmental trends and dynamics using an Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA) approach based on the DPSIR framework.