Socio-Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in a Fragile Ecosystem: The Case of the Lake Chilwa Basin, Malawi, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Socio-Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in a Fragile Ecosystem

The Case of the Lake Chilwa Basin, Malawi, 1st Edition

Edited by Sosten Chiotha, Daniel Jamu, Joseph Nagoli, Patrick Likongwe, Tembo Chanyenga


292 pages | 66 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-06-18
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The Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme was a seven-year research and development programme in Malawi that concluded in March 2017. The programme was designed to protect the livelihoods of the population and enhance resilience of the natural resource base upon which it depends. The Lake Chilwa Basin is an important wetland ecosystem which is a designated Ramsar Site under the Ramsar Wetland Convention and a Man and Biosphere Reserve designated by UNESCO.

This book provides a review of the research and programme interventions done based on the ecosystem approach (EA), a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources. This is designed to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way in its implementation of mitigation and climate change adaptation interventions. It is shown how: local and district institutions were strengthened to better manage natural resources and build resilience to climate change; cross-basin and cross-sector natural resource management and planning for climate change throughout the Basin were built; household and enterprise adaptive capacity in Basin hotspots was built; and improved forest management and governance contributed in mitigating the effects of climate change. The study followed all the twelve key EA principles with involvement of all key stakeholders. It is one of the first programmes to apply EA on such a wide temporal and spatial scale and provides key lessons to be learned for the protection of other fragile ecosystems in an era of climate change.

Table of Contents


Sosten Chiotha, Daniel Jamu, Patrick Likongwe, Joseph Nagoli, Tembo Chanyenga


  1. Ecosystem Approach: theory into practice
  2. Sosten Chiotha, Elizabeth Daniels, Samuel Gillick, Daniel Jamu, Patrick Likongwe and Zipangani Vokhiwa

  3. The Emergence and Status of REDD+ in Malawi
  4. Dalitso Kafumbata, Mike Chirwa, Henry Utila, and Dennis Kayambazinthu

  5. Building resilience of ecosystem and people’s livelihood through afforestation
  6. Michael Likoswe, Tembo Chanyenga, Gibson Mphepo, Henry Utila, Gerald Meke, Vincent Chithila and Willie Sagona


  7. Natural resource-based livelihoods in the context of climate change in the Lake Chilwa Basin
  8. Joseph Nagoli, Levison Chiwaula, Daniel Jamu and Precious Mwanza

  9. Enhancing household resilience through climate smart agriculture in the Lake Chilwa Basin
  10. Willie Sagona and Sophie Mahonya

  11. Livestock promotion for building social and ecological resilience under a changing climate in the Lake Chilwa Basin
  12. Gibson Mphepo and Joseph Nkhoma

  13. Building organisational capacity for ecosystem-based adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Lake Chilwa Basin
  14. Welton Phalira, Joseph Nagoli, Dennis Kayambazinthu, Sosten Chiotha

  15. Too big to ignore: Gender and climate change adaptation in the Lake Chilwa Basin
  16. Joseph Nagoli, Lucy Binauli, Asafu Chijere, Sosten Chiotha


  17. Insect outbreaks in the Lake Chilwa Basin: Threats and opportunities in the basin social-ecosystem
  18. Clement Chilima, Misheck Soko, Dylo Pemba and George Phiri

  19. Biodiversity in the Lake Chilwa Basin: Status, use and governance of Fish, Forests and Birds:
  20. Tembo Chanyenga, John Wilson, Friday Njaya, Clement Chilima, Gibson Mphepo, Dennis Kayambazinthu

  21. Public Health and Population: Linkages with Climate Variability
  22. Deepa Pullanikkatil, Benjamin Kaneka, Clifford Mkanthama, Dylo Pemba, Sosten Chiotha


  23. Monitoring extreme weather events and ecosystems to enhance responsive capacity to climate change impacts
  24. Cosmo Ngongondo, Daniel Jamu, Willie Sagona, Patrick Likongwe, Sosten Chiotha, Mphatso Chapotera, Chawanangwa Mwale

  25. Innovative community outreach and engagement

Mathews Tsirizeni, Sosten Chiotha, Gibson Mphepo, Patrick Likongwe, Elizabeth Daniels, Samuel Gillick and Sydney F. Kankuzi

About the Editors

Sosten Chiotha is the Regional Programme Director for Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Southern and Eastern Africa in Malawi. He coordinated, from 2010 to 2017, the Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme (LCBCCAP), the basis for this book.

Daniel Jamu is Deputy Chief of Party FISH Project, Malawi and Adjunct Professor, University of Rhode Island, USA. He holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, USA.

Joseph Nagoli is the Research Leader of WorldFish programme in Malawi. He holds a PhD in Rural Development (Anthropology) from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Patrick Likongwe is a Research and Training Specialist for LEAD and was the Programme Manager for the Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme in Malawi.

Tembo Chanyenga is Director of Forestry Research Institute of Malawi with excellent track record in forestry research and tree planting activities demonstrated by 36 years’ experience in forest management.

About the Series

Earthscan Studies in Natural Resource Management

Earthscan Studies in Natural Resource Management
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to natural resource management, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes textbooks, research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Ecology