Protected Areas and Corridors
The Republic of Malawi
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Contributors (in alphabetical order)
Abstract (100 words)
Sixty-nine endemic plant species and an estimated 1000 endemic fish species have been described in Malawi but
outside protected areas, the pressure from expansion of agriculture production and unsustainable harvesting
have already resulted in the extinction of many species, and loss of habitats. The continued adoption of foreign
and improved crop varieties and livestock breeds are inevitably pushing local land races into extinction.
Introduction (300 words – base on Table 1)
[Emphasize the success stories]
Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964.
The Great Rift Valley
The whole country of Malawi is influenced by the Great Rift Valley. Most of the land west of Lake Malawi is above
1000m while the Malawi Plateau in the north of the country is above 2000m.
Table 1. Characteristics of the country and the Rift Valley Region that relate to Protected Areas (adapted in part
from CIA – The World Factbook – http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/mi.html)
Characteristic Country Rift Valley Region (100 x 1000)
Land, water, & total area 94,080, 24,400, & 118,480km²
Natural landscape forces N/A
Longest river Shire
Largest lake Nyasa
Marine coastline 0km
Max. & min. elevation 3,002m (Sapitwa - Mount Mlanje), 37m (junction
of the Shire River and international boundary
Human population 13million
Languages 57% Chichewa (official), 13% Chinyanja, 10%
Religion 80% Christian, 13% Muslim
Arable land 21%, 560km² irrigated
Commercial agr. products Tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn
Dominant industries Tobacco, tea, sugar, and forest products
Environmental concerns Deforestation, land degradation, water pollution
Unique Features of Protected Areas (500 words)
Special habitats – e.g. Lake Malawi
Special mammal populations – hippo, crocodile, elephant, kudu
Time-line of Protected Area Events (200 words – base on Table 2)
[These dates are critical successes and failures that the reader needs to remember in order to understand how the
protected areas system evolved to today]
The historical events given in Table 2 are important dates that strongly influenced establishment and
management of the protected areas. …………..
Table 2. Key dates in conservation and management of protected areas in Malawi.
Date Event and significance
First protected areas
Signed International Convention on Biodiversity
Characteristics and Degree of Protection in Malawi
(500 words – base on Table 3)
Table 3. Type, number, area, and special features of the protected areas in Malawi (adapted from
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/wdpa, http://www.cites.org, http://earthtrends.wri.org/, and
http://www.iucnredlist.org/ because the international community has access to these lists).
Name # Total Area (km²) Special features
Conservation Area 1
Forest Reserve 209
National Park 5
Wildlife Reserve 4
International Conventions and Programmes
Wetlands of International
World Heritage Convention 1
UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 1
Cloud Forest Region 3
Cloud Forest Site 3
Spatial Configuration and Potential for Linking Protected Areas to the Rift Valley
(500 words plus map)
Protected areas linkages within the country
Within Malawi: As seen in Figure x, there are few air, water, and land linkages among national parks…………
Protected areas with international linkages
Protected areas linkages to the Great Rift Valley
Figure 1. The location of the Protected Areas in Malawi.
Research and Management Issues (include high profile issues – 2500 words)
Acknowledgements (30 words)
Chapman, J.D. & F. White. 1970. The evergreen forests of Malawi. Commonwealth Forestry Institute, University of
Oxford, Oxford. 190pp. plus photos.
Munthali, S.M. 1997. Dwindling food-fish species and fishers'' preference: problems of conserving Lake Malawi''s
biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation 6: 253-261.
Sweeney, R.C.H. (1959). A checklist of the mammals of Nyasaland. Nyasaland Society, Malawi.
Kalowekamo, F. 2000. Crocodile and hippopotamus management in the Lower Shire. Document 38, Compass.
USAID Contract. 31pp.