Photo: Innocent Mbvundula/CARE
Torrential rains flooded Malawi in January causing devastating damage to both infrastructure and crops.
Adaptation to climate change is top of the agenda for Malawi's Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC).
Malawi has recently initiated the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process.
This presents a great opportunity for CISONECC to engage policy and decision makers to ensure that adaptation policy instruments deliver equitable outcomes.
To prepare for this opportunity CISONECC has updated their advocacy strategy directing their engagement to promote a pro-poor adaptation policy in Malawi.
Sharpened advocacy strategy
Based on the Joint Principles for Adaptation, the network prepared a report analyzing the status of Malawi's present adaptation framework.
The report identified a number of shortcomings and this has proved useful in crafting the advocacy objectives and indicators of the new strategy.
The new strategy is targeting both the Ministry of Environment, The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services as well as the ministry of Finance – the key recommendations are:
- To base the NAP-planning on community-driven processes by 2015
- To ensure adequate funding for adaptation in the national budget
- To make climate forecasts available to assist adaptation planning by local communities
Communities lacks involvement
Some policies in Malawi recognize the importance of local knowledge. But overall Malawi's current adaptation framework lacks concrete action plans and mechanisms to enable community involvement.
This is a key finding in the National Adaptation Status Report by CISONECC. Also most policies are only available in English and their distribution tends to be confined to certain technical and political circles.
CISONECC therefore targets community involvement more directly in their new advocacy strategy as well as the need for increased access to climate information.
To obtain the latter CISONECC seeks to involve various civil society organizations in the revision and adoption of responsive meteorological policy.
Wanted: Explicit national funding for adaptation
As another key point of action, CISONECC highlights the need for explicit funding for climate adaptation in Malawi's national budget – this is currently not provided.
Meanwhile CISONECC report that government entities working on adaptation tend to implement their projects independently without any coordination.
CISONECC is thus advocating for more transparency and monitoring of the adaptation planning and implementation process.