FCFA’s research in Malawi was carried out by FRACTAL in the city of Blantyre and UMFULA in Lake Malawi and the Shire River Basin. FRACTAL aims to explore the decision-making process in southern African cities, and to support how cities respond to the impact of climate change and the pressures of rapid social, economic, and environmental change. UMFULA aims to improve climate information for medium-term (5-40 year) decision-making in the water-energy-food nexus in central and southern Africa, with a particular focus on Tanzania and Malawi.
While advances in climate research can further the understanding of the drivers of variability and inform assessment of confidence in models, waiting for better model projections is not viable when decisions are being made now on major infrastructure investments with long lifespans.
Instead, to make adaptive decisions that reduce climate risk in Malawi, we can investigate the implications of a range of potential outcomes. This allows decision-makers to determine priorities (which could be minimising losses, or maximising potential gains, for example) while factoring in the uncertainties about future climate projections.
Development plans being made in Malawi (but also elsewhere in the SADC region) comprise critical trade-offs between major investment decisions in irrigation, hydropower and agricultural intensification and the impacts on ecosystem services in the affected areas, among other considerations.
For the latest FCFA climate change news visit the news stories page.