Malawi’s launches the country’s first Public Environmental Expenditure Review
Malawi’s launches the country’s first Public Environmental Expenditure Review Malawi’s economy and the livelihoods of a majority of the population are largely dependent on different environment and natural resources (ENR). In this light, harnessing public resources in support of pro-poor and environmentally sustainable development is important. On 31 July 2015 Malawi’s Secretary to Treasury, Honorable Dr. Ronald Mangani, launched the country’s first Public Expenditure Review on Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) and Disaster Risk Management.
According to the review, Malawi’s total expenditure on ENR and climate change between 2006 and 2012 was US$278 million. The average national expenditure on ENR during the six year period was equal to 3.15% of the national budget or 0.96% of the country’s GDP. While the expenditure has positively contributed to food security, reforestation and land reforms for the benefit of the landless the investment levels of 0.96% are low considering that unsustainable use of ENR has been estimated to cost the country 5.3% of GDP annually.
Secretary Mangani recognized that while ‘the environment sector has made strides in contributing to the country’s GDP and improving the welfare of Malawians. There are still a number of challenges which should be addressed in order to ensure efficient delivery of services and effectiveness of expenditure. I believe we can do better than the progress so far if we improve our efforts towards environmental and disaster risk management.’
The acting UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Carol Flore-Smereczniak, further noted that the undertaking of the report ‘comes at an opportune time when the country is preparing to develop the strategic framework which process should ensure that future policies and budgets integrate pro-poor environmental sustainability objectives.’ The findings and recommendations of the Report provide the necessary foundations and guidance of how this can be undertaken for the public expenditure process.
Investing more in environmental sustainability can help addressing issues such as soil erosion estimated to keep 1.88 million Malawians in poverty between 2005-2015. Hence such investments will contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals and poverty reduction. The launch event and findings of the report was further covered by Daily Times on August 5th.