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Wildlife Action Group - Malawi
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PROJECTS

Protecting Ecosystems and Restoring Forests in Malawi (PERFORM)


PERFORM interventions on hotspots of deforestation and forest degradation

Protecting Ecosystems and Restoring Forests in Malawi (PERFORM), is a USAID/Malawi-funded project that works with the Government of Malawi and its people to promote forest conservation and green growth. PERFORM and WAG agreed to work together in August 2016. In order to focus PERFORM interventions on hotspots of deforestation and forest degradation, PERFORM used a forest fractional cover tool (fC) to quickly identify possible hotspots. The resulting map was discussed and validated by WAG, and with local communities. PERFORM, together with WAG and the Government extension staff then conducted a series of Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) to understand the factors driving deforestation, and the opportunities to address these. Using the results of the PRA, since October 2016, PERFORM has supported agricultural intensification and livelihood diversification in the identified hotspots. This has included:

  • 55 Drought Tolerant Maize demonstration farms/farmers: which in addition to helping meet food security needs this year has also introduced improved seeds and management practices that have not been widely available to farmers in this areas.
  • 606 Orange Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP) demonstration farms/farmers: in addition to being high in Vitamin A, OFSP provides a source of food (both from leaves and tubers), and an important source of income.
  • 20 Soya farms/farmers: soya is an established cash crop in Central Malawi with a ready market. Each farmer received 20kg of seed, and is committed to pass-on 20kg from her/his harvest to another farmer for planting next season.

PERFORM is currently working in communities around identified hotspots to introduce improved cookstoves,. The “rocketstoves” are constructed by households using local materials, and the project provides a limited number of metal parts, which further increase stove efficiency. The rocketstoves are approximately twice as efficient as the “three stone fire” traditionally used around Thuma, and across rural Malawi. To date, 83 rocket stoves have been constructed, and stove construction will continue through October (with a target of at least 500 improved cook stoves that will be constructed this year).

In addition, target communities were supported to establish tree nurseries, and subsequently outplanted more than 12,000 seedlings in woodlots and around homesteads.

PERFORM also supported the Wildlife Action Group (WAG) to design the site-based forest/carbon inventories that WAG conducted in the Thuma and Dedza-Salima Escarpment Forest Reserves in February 2017. These inventories adapted the methodology and standard operating procedures that were developed with support from PERFORM, and adopted by the GoM in December 2017. The data collected has been incorporated into a centralized forest inventory database, and through this will contribute to the country’s National Forest Inventory database.