Linking National Forest Programmes and Poverty Reduction Strategies
Malawi’s National Forestry Programme highlights the link between forest degradation and poverty, notes that women and children suffer the most from fuel wood shortages, and confirms a chronic imbalance in the supply and demand of forest products. In this regard, the policy provides the basis for communities to conserve and sustainably use forest resources, including trees on farms, to support livelihoods and reduce poverty.
The authors argue that:
- the series of frequent government re-organizations have diverted efforts and resources away from programme implementation and service delivery, in addition to creating uncertainty in an administration already suffering from scarce human and financial capital
- although the 20 Forestry Department remains with the same ministry subsequent to the latest shuffle in May 2007, this responsibility is not reflected in the change in name to the Ministry of Energy and Mining
- the omission further lowers the sector’s profile not only within the government hierarchy but also in the eyes of the public at large and provides yet another reason for the Forestry Department to forge stronger partnerships with relevant NGOs and line ministries, in addition to central institutions.