De-risking water, resource, and energy asset development in Malawi

GCRF Funding Cycle

Principal Investigator
Dr Tim Raub

Earth & Environmental Sciences

ODA countries

Sustainable Development Goals

Malawi’s eco-tourism industry is central to its development strategy and must be joined up with its sustainable management of environmental resources, particularly its few remaining stands of ancient forests and its highest-in-the-world lake biodiversity, notably of cichlid fish species. We have added a new value to its crop of protected, though critically endangered, Mulanje Cypress trees, by demonstrating a long-term growth cycle in Mulanje Cypress tree rings that records wet years and droughts as well as fires on the Mulanje and Malosa plateaus, thereby enhancing understanding of their conservation importance. We also have documented the effect that deforestation has on land surface runoff, which silts up the main fish hatchery in Lake Malawi (Senga Bay), reducing fishery stocks and decreasing available oxygen, thereby potentially increasing risks to human health via anaerobic pathogens.