New fund to boost biodiversity conservation in Malawi and beyond – Capital Radio Malawi
23 April, 2024

New fund to boost biodiversity conservation in Malawi and beyond

Photo Credit: UNEP

A significant boost to Malawi and global biodiversity conservation efforts is expected following recent pledges made by Canada and the United Kingdom.

During the Global Environment (GEF) Facility Assembly in August, the two nations were the first to announce their pledges towards the newly established Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF).

The GEF Assembly brought together approximately 1,500 participants from diverse backgrounds, including government officials, business leaders, academics, and civil society representatives.

Hosts, Canada committed 200 million Canadian dollars and the UK offered 10 million pounds as initial contributions.

The resources pledged during the Vancouver event are dedicated to the ambitious mission of halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 and initiating a trajectory of nature recovery by 2050.

In addition, the groundbreaking fund is poised to have a profound impact on wildlife and ecosystem preservation worldwide, aligning with the urgent need to address escalating environmental challenges.

In a published statement, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault, emphasized the importance of a global response to the triple crises of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity.

 “We are at a pivotal time of unprecedented environmental challenges as the world is being confronted by the triple crises of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. The urgency of a global response has never been greater. Over the last eight months, since COP15, we have seen outstanding collaboration between countries and international partners, and we need to keep the momentum going. Canada’s longstanding partnership with the GEF is central to our efforts and underscores our shared commitment to collaboration and climate action,” said Guilbeault.

And the United Kingdom’s Nature Minister Trudy Harrison further underscored the need for nations to work together in confronting the critical challenge of halting and reversing biodiversity loss describing the initial contribution as an ongoing dedication to protecting our planet’s natural diversity.

In its recent project in Malawi, the GEF approved 4.4 million dollars in funding for a project that aims at reducing the impacts of climate change on vulnerable rural communities in the Lake Chilwa basin.  

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme, the five-year project among others aims to enhance the resilience of vulnerable rural communities. It is estimated that around 80,000 people in Machinga, Zomba, and Phalombe districts are to directly benefit from this project. 

Another GEF-funded project in Malawi is the 2021-2024 Malawi Climate Transparency Framework whose objective was to strengthen the capacity of institutions in Malawi and set up an information system to fulfill the enhanced transparency requirements of the Paris Agreement.

The GEF also funded the Shire Valley Transformation Program which has since enhanced agricultural productivity and commercialisation for targeted households in Malawi’s Shire Valley region.

With the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund now on the cards, it is anticipated that at least 20 percent of resources from it will support indigenous-led initiatives to protect and conserve biodiversity. It will also prioritise support for Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries, which will receive more than a third of the fund’s resources.

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