Photo: UNDP


National Focal Point

  • Government

National Strategic Documents and Timeframe

  • NDC: 2015 – 2040
  • National Climate Change Management Policy
  • Vision 2020
  • Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (MPRSP)
  • Malawi Economic Growth Strategy (MEGS)
  • Malawi Growth and Development Strategy I & II (MGDS I & II)
  • National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) (1994)
  • National Environmental Policy (NEP) (revised 2004)
  • National Communications of 2002 and 2011
  • National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) (2006)
  • National Environment and Climate Change Communication Strategy (2012)
  • Malawi’s Climate Change Learning Strategy (2012)
  • National Climate Change Investment Plan (2014)

National Institutional Arrangements

Malawi’s NDC explains that the Government has developed the National Climate Change Management Policy, which at the time of writing the NDC, was pending Cabinet approval and endorsement, to spur climate change activities in Malawi. In addition, Malawi has sector-specific policies which have mainstreamed adaptation activities, as well as implementation frameworks that foster development and transfer of technology and capacity building.

The NDC also provides that Malawi launched its Vision 2020 in the year 2000, which provided the basis for the development of a number of developmental plans at both the national and sectoral level, and other strategic documents that have provided policy direction.

Priorities and Needs

The NDC describes that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) of 2007 rated Malawi as one of the most vulnerable countries in sub-Saharan Africa to the deleterious impacts of climate change. The NDC explains that major climate related hazards that wreak havoc in Malawi are floods and droughts. In particular, the following thematic areas are vulnerable to climate change, climate variability and extreme climate events:

  • Agriculture: Malawi is heavily reliant on rain-fed agriculture
  • Energy: vulnerability is related to the sources of energy production being affected by floods and droughts in terms of damage to machinery, loss of biomass productivity and availability of appropriate alternative technology
  • Water: there is a need to protect catchment areas, preserve water, and enhance sustainable utilization
  • Forestry: forest productivity will be greatly affected by erratic rainfall and extended drought
  • Fisheries: fish population is declining rapidly due to climate change
  • Gender: vulnerable and disadvantaged groups carry the burden of the impacts of climate change. Women and girls are particularly impacts, as they have to walk further in search of basic commodities for the family such as firewood and water
  • Wildlife: droughts pose a major threat to wildlife
  • Human health: under climate change scenario, the spread of climate-sensitive diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea would increase, and food production would decline resulting in malnutrition

Current and Planned Adaptation Efforts

Malawi’s NDC lists intended policy based actions across the priority sectors and thematic areas identified based on national development priorities:


  • Increase irrigation at smallholder level
  • Increase land under irrigation through Greenbelt initiative from 20000 to 40000 ha
  • Expanded programmes of Greenbelt initiative from 40000 ha to 10000 ha by 2030
  • Build adaptation capacity in climate resilient agronomic practices for smallholder farmers
  • Promote on-farm water conservation technologies
  • Support an expanded programme of constructing multipurpose dams for irrigation and aquaculture
  • Develop financial mechanisms to support crop insurance targeting smallholder farmers
  • Promote the growing of drought tolerant crop varieties
  • Implement conservation agriculture and agroforestry practices
  • Promote improved land use practices


  • Implement integrated catchment conservation and management programme
  • Promote water harvesting technologies at all levels
  • Support an expanded programme of constructing multipurpose dams to enhance water storage
  • Support the revision of water related policies and strategies (inc. water-SW A P)
  • Develop and enhance climate information and early warning systems

Human Health:

  • Build capacity to diagnose, prevent and control climate-sensitive diseases such as malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and malnutrition
  • Enhance public awareness about water, sanitation and hygiene practices; and enhance health surveillance
  • Support expanded programme for preventing and controlling climate- sensitive diseases
  • Construct more health centres in order to improve access to health facilities within a walking distance of 8 km
  • Support the establishment of centre of excellence for research and disease control targeting climate-sensitive diseases


  • Promote use of biomass briquettes as substitute for firewood and charcoal
  • Promote an energy mix that moves people away from use of biomass
  • Support an expanded programme of briquette production and use
  • Construct storage dams for hydropower generation
  • Promote solar PV and use of energy efficient bulbs
  • Promote use of bio-fuels for lighting and cooking replacing fossil based fuel


  • Support research in drought tolerant and fast growing tree species
  • Expand afforestation and forest regeneration programmes
  • Promote growing of drought tolerant and fast growing tree species


  • Provide watering points at strategic locations of national park/ game reserve
  • Implement diseases control programmes
  • Support capacity building in wildlife institution to lead in adaptation initiatives e.g. translocation and culling


  • Capacity building in aquaculture and cage culture fish farming practices
  • Adopt eco-system services approach in the management of fisheries resources
  • Promote aquaculture and cage culture fish farming practices
  • Protect of fish spawning/breeding sites
  • Maintain fingerings for stocking lakes and rivers after severe droughts episodes

Gender (and vulnerable groups):

  • Promote gender mainstreaming in policies, programmes and projects
  • Support capacity building programmes for vulnerable groups


  • Construct infrastructure for flood control, transport, etc.
  • Develop and implement climate related building codes/standards
  • Revise existing building standards in line with climate change


  • Promote research in industrial technologies

Synergies with Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts

The NDC states that the total cost of loss and damage that the Government of Malawi incurred during these severe floods was estimated to be US$335 million, and the recovery and reconstruction costs stood at US$494 million.

Requirements for Additional Planning, Financial and Technical Capacities

Malawi’s NDC makes clear that the implementation of many of its adaptation actions will require availability of financial resources, technology development and transfer, and capacity building from the international community.

it states that the Government of Malawi is willing to implement some of the adaptation actions indicated as ‘unconditional;’ by pulling resources from domestic sources.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The NDC states that for all government programmes and projects implemented in the country, a monitoring and evaluation framework is in place. The M&E activities are undertaken by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development in collaboration with sectoral ministries. The INDC M&E will done by the MFEPD, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining and other sectoral ministries.