EBAFoS kicked off with its first inception workshop in Lilongwe Malawi on August 19th. The full day workshop brought together stakeholders from across Malawi and across various sectors including government, NGOs, research institutions, and civil society.
Encouragingly, the session was declared open by Hon. Atupele Muluzi, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, who, in his opening remarks, noted that Malawi has been actively involved on the international stage concerning the approval of the Kyoto protocol and drafting of its National Adaptation Plan for Action but has had trouble accessing financing to undertake activities associated with these processes.
He expressed enthusiasm for the project which offers technical and financial support to actors seeking to build ecosystem resilience and adapt food systems to climate change impacts, saying “….this programme and support could not have come at an opportune time. The country needs this programmatic approach that will benefit the local Malawians in uplifting their livelihoods while building resilience to the natural resource integrity…” Minister of of Natural resources, Energy and Mining Hon. ATUPELE MULUZI.
Malawi is the first out of three countries (Zambia, Mozambique) that will implement the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Food Security (EBAFoS)–project using a new operational approach aimed at enhancing efficient implementation of the programme and enhancing country-level participation. Malawi serves as a test case for the regional approach which will take into consideration regional inter-dependence of ecosystem services. Premised on the principles of a "fiscal stimulus", the use of limited resources as a catalyst to broader change will is been utilized.
Of the project Mia Seppo, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative said “….The proposed ecosystem based adaptation project in Malawi is a necessity, because the orientation of Malawi along the Great African Rift Valley makes it unique and vulnerable, as it is at the receiving end of the catchment. The negative impacts of poor agricultural practices and natural resources management decisions upstream end up in Shire River. The UN in Malawi is ready to work with UNEP and government to ensure the success of this programme ….”.
The project will work with local partners who will build climate resilience in food systems through ecosystem-based adaptation. It kicked off in Malawi with one-on-one major stakeholder consultations and an inception workshop that was attended about 45 local and national stakeholders.