Designing Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives: Malawi Decides

Participants at a joint National Dialogue on Global Environment Facility and Inception Workshop. Photo: UNDP Malawi.

Lilongwe, 18 May, 2015 – UNDP supports countries to address the challenges of climate change. As countries transition toward climate-resilient sustainable development, UNDP assists them to prepare for, and build resilience to, the impacts of climate change.

Senior government officials, representatives of civil society and academia, the chair of GEF steering committee and representatives from UNDP met at a joint National Dialogue on Global Environment Facility, and Inception Workshop of the Least Developed Countries Fund – Global Environmental Facility project.

The project, titled “Implementing urgent adaptation priorities through strengthened decentralised and national development plans” – or ‘ADAPT PLAN’ in short, was launched with the aim to mainstream climate change adaptation into development planning. It is a 5-year project with a budget of US$4,500,000.

Despite significant political will and commitment to address climate change in Malawi, persistent barriers exist to the effective implementation of the policy and mainstreaming of adaptation into development planning. These constraints include poor policy implementation, technical capacity challenges and knowledge gaps.  These barriers are exacerbated by the multi-sectoral nature of climate change.

In recognition of these areas, this project aims to establish and demonstrate the institutional framework required to mainstream adaptation into development planning at national and local levels, beginning with 3 line ministries (Agriculture, Water and Forestry) and 3 case study districts (Nkhata Bay, Ntcheu and Zomba).

At least 5800 people from the initial pilot districts are expected to benefit directly from practical training and support on resilient livelihood activities. Such activities include, but are not limited to, crop diversification, tree planting, development of fish ponds, earth dams and water harvesting.  If direct beneficiaries of these 5800 people are included, the number rises sharply to 40,000 and a significant 600,000 if indirect beneficiaries are included.