Lake Malawi has a tremendous number of endemic fish species and Malawi as a whole has rich biodiversity in its national parks and protected areas. Several BRACC projects are working with communities to protect biodiversity, which in turn provides healthier ecosystems to support society.
Using modern, non-polluting energy for cooking is important for people's health. It also discourages deforestation - which harms the broader environment. BRACC projects are working to help Malawians shift away from unsustainable charcoal use and to embrace clean, affordable cooking fuels and methods.
Malawi's climate is already changing - land surface temperatures are up by at least 1 degree Celsius in the last century and more changes lie ahead. Rainfall patterns are shifting, too, and extreme weather events will be more frequent. Malawi will have to adapt. The BRACC programme is looking to support Malawi's implementation of domestic climate policies, and also to showcase Malawian good practice on the international stage, for example, at the COP26 climate conference in November 2021.
Malawi needs to balance growing demands for food and other agricultural production, managing natural resources, and providing a livelihood base for the rural population - all in the context of a changing climate. Climate-smart agriculture can help Malawians adapt to climate change.
Malawi faces disasters and shocks including floods, droughts, and chronic food shortages. Disaster risk reduction covers a wide range of measures to prevent and minimise disasters, including flood control, early warning systems and disaster preparedness. There is significant potential to increase investment in risk reduction and address underlying chronic vulnerabilities, and so reduce the need for humanitarian response after shocks occur.
Malawi still needs to make progress in enrolling all children successfully in primary education throughout the country - and giving them a quality education. Meanwhile, some BRACC projects are looking at how environmental protection, climate change impacts and adaptation can be introduced into schools' curricula.
Access to financial services such as credit and insurance, for individual households and small businesses, can make all the difference in helping people to brace for and recover from weather-related and other shocks. BRACC projects are working to extend appropriate financial services in Malawian communities.
To achieve a resilient Malawi, women and other traditionally marginalised groups, including people of different ages, ethnic groups, disability status, and sexual minorities, need to be fully involved in and to benefit from resilience programming. The BRACC programme looks at how cultural norms, the challenges faced by disadvantaged groups, and system and intervention design affect outcomes, and aims to ensure that programme activities meet the needs of diverse people.
Integrated water management has catchment management aspects - related to tackling deforestation, land degradation, agricultural expansion, pollution and climate change impacts and adaptation. It is also about designing water management systems to balance different needs and interests: from direct household needs for water and sanitation, to water needs for biodiversity and fisheries, to irrigation, hydropower and industrial uses.
BRACC projects are working with private sector partners to promote engagement with rural households and demonstrate pro-poor business initiatives. They are also helping to grow competition in agricultural input and output markets across the country - which has benefits for farming productivity and livelihoods.