The Government of Malawi includes a chapter on environmental sustainability in its 2014/15 budget guidelines
For the second consecutive year the Government of Malawi has included a chapter on environmental sustainability in its 2014/15 budget guidelines. Building on the introduction of a similar chapter in the 2013/14 budget guidelines, enhanced emphasis this year is being placed on the links between poverty, environment and climate change and ensuring the adherence to the guidelines. The chapter states that:
‘The contribution from prudent use of natural resources, environmental management and climate resilience is crucial in order for Malawi to achieve national sustainable development. There is need to ensure that all projects comply with environmental sustainability guidelines. This has immense potential to provide significant benefits from sustainable resource use and management and climate proofing of the economy and presents a rare opportunity for improved livelihoods of present and future generations of Malawians.’
For a country like Malawi that in 2011 was estimated to lose 5.3% of its GDP due to unsustainable use of natural resources, increasing budget allocations for sustainable use of natural resource and more systematically making use of Environmental Impact Assessments is an important step. Increased budget allocations for environmental sustainability are laying the foundation to reverse soil erosion that is estimated to reduce agriculture productivity by 6%, and if this yield is recovered, 1.88 million people could be lifted out of poverty by 2015 (source: Economic Valuation of Sustainable Natural Resource Use in Malawi, 2011)
The inclusion of a chapter on sustainability in its budget guidelines shows that the Government of Malawi is institutionalizing poverty-environment mainstreaming and is committed to a more sustainable development path.