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Friday, 27 March 2015 10:13

UNDP for sustainable land management

Written by  Lily Kampani



Balaka, March 25, 2015: The United Nations Development Programme-UNDP has challenged Capitol Hill to prioritize sustainable land management if the country is to mitigate risks of natural disasters such as floods.

UNDP Assistant Secretary General, Izumu Nakamitsu was speaking on Tuesday during a field visit to flood disaster affected areas in Ulongwe, Balaka.

“UNDP is committed to supporting governments efforts both at the central and district level so that they will be able to implement their policies and plans for disaster risk reduction,” said Nakamitsu.

Nakamitsu also reminded women on their key role in disaster risk reduction as well as recovery.

“Women are assets in terms of recovery in a more sustainable manner at the community family level, so there is need to tap into their capacity and empower them in order to reduce further degradation of natural resources,” she added.

On her part, UNDP Country Representative, Mia Seppo said Malawi needs to focus on important lessons from the recent flood disaster to build more resilient communities.

“The country is vulnerable to climate change, recurrent food insecurity, and pressure on land and population growth which all come together in a way that is very challenging. Malawi really needs to think through moving forward by promoting resilience because you cannot afford to continuously respond if there is no sustainability” she advised

And Principal Secretary for Environment and Climate Change Management, Dr Yanira Ntupanyama highlighted the need to create awareness on the role of communities in sustainable land management.

“We are working with more than 60 villages in this area where we have encouraged them to plant trees and avoid setting fires in order to increase vegetation cover. We are also encouraging conservation agriculture to maintain residue moisture which will in turn help prevent soil erosion,” said Ntupanyama.

Ntupanyama also promised that Lilongwe will help communities in setting up income generating activities like bee keeping to prevent them from charcoal burning and selling.

UNDP is expected to provide an additional US$1 million towards government's response to the floods and the recovery process.