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MCHF Overview of work on forest cover monitoring

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Issues brief

Modern Cooking for Healthy Forests (MCHF) promotes sustainable forest management and energy options to maintain forest cover and to reduce land-based emissions in Malawi. MCHF is a five-year activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Tetra Tech implements MCHF in partnership with five organisations: Winrock International, the Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy, the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, World Resources Institute, and mHub.

MCHF’s objectives include:

1. Promoting adoption of alternative energy sources and efficient cooking technologies to reduce unsustainable wood fuel cooking demand, and most importantly urban demand for illegal and unsustainable charcoal;

2. Improving local delivery of forestry services, and promoting forest-friendly enterprises, including sustainable charcoal and other biomass energies;

3. Strengthening regulation and enforcement to support sustainable wood fuel production and use;

4. Increasing the Government of Malawi’s implementation capacity of low emissions development in REDD+, Forest Landscape Restoration, and/or other land use; and

5. Leveraging interventions with partners, including USAID, FCDO, other development partners, Government of Malawi and the private sector.

Through Objective 4, MCHF supports the Government of Malawi to implement and institutionalise key systems, tools, and technologies that provide the requisite information base for improved forest monitoring, support to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) readiness, and forest landscape restoration efforts. Objective 4 builds on the foundation established by the USAID/Malawi-funded Protecting Ecosystems and Restoring Forests in Malawi (PERFORM) project, which worked closely with the Government of Malawi to accomplish the requirements for the piloting phase of the National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) and achieve all major milestones of the 2015 NFMR Roadmap:

•The land monitoring system;
•The field-based National Forest Inventory (NFI);
•The reference emissions level; and
•The national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory.

PERFORM’s work with the Government resulted in a fully functional GHG Inventory System; the development of Malawi’s REDD+ reference emissions level for deforestation, degradation, and forest enhancements; and with the Department of Forestry (DoF), steps to define methodologies, undertake locally-led data collection, and produce results to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) standards.

MCHF expands on these efforts to further strengthen Government capacity to improve the quality, management, and application of forest data and information at national, subnational, and field levels. Activity partner Winrock International leads activities under Objective 4. Read the factsheet for more information.