Posts tagged " malawi "

Malawi Climate Leaders Visit SEPA

February 28th, 2019 Posted by Blogs No Comment yet

I heard about snow, I saw it on TV but I never had the chance to see it in real life. It was so pleasing and satisfying to see snow blanket the farmland on our way to SEPA for our meeting. We started the day with a presentation that covered what the Scottish Environment Protection Agency does, what its goals are and what it does to achieve them. We learned of SEPA’s strategy and the motives behind their actions and plans. I was moved by the notion that over time, Scotland has been able to pursue environmental protection while being adaptive to changing times and technologies. Worthwhile noting was the fact that Scotland has had to go through various stages to get where it is at present. There was an uphill mountain to climb but people did not feel complacent or accept the situation. They learned from their experiences, including some failure, to get where they are today and this is something I can take back home with me.

SEPA are committed to protect and improve Scotland’s environment, in ways that can also have social and economic benefits. Our visit occurred on the same day as the one-year celebration of the Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) with 2050 Climate Group. This is a document that commits both to positive climate action. SEPA partners with organisations for SGAs that have the vision and foresight to say we need a different society and economy. They are committed to protecting and improving Scotland’s natural environment through helping operators, businesses and individuals realise the many economic and social benefits of good environmental practice. They support organisations that have the vision to go forward and make Scotland a low carbon country. They provide guidance, support, regulations and information to any person or business considering environmental matters.

We also got to hear of the technologies and the systems used to monitor and manage waste management sites. I consider Malawi to be failing with waste management as many manufacturers are disposing their waste as they see fit and are even using their financial muscles to force through retrogressive court injunctions. As a country, Malawi received a regulation to ban the production and use of thin plastic papers. However the manufactures got a court injunction to stop the ban. It is now two years or more down the line and nothing has been done to the injunction.

Malawi also sees very inconsistent rainfall patterns. It has failed to manage the river catchment areas and siltation. People have lost their lives and their homes in Malawi’s yearly flooding events. It was great to learn about SEPA’s flood warning system and their mitigation strategies. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail and we all need evidence to plan effectively.

Among several other talks on land degradation, we learned how the ecosystem is monitored and how through analysing the land and water, SEPA is able to tell the level of pollution at a given site. Walking through the labs was not only exciting and memorial but also a sign of what a committed, science based system towards a cause can achieve.

One day I will speak about how education, awareness and advocacy have been brought to the fore by SEPA. It is no secret that Motherwell did not just give me my first experience seeing snow (which I really enjoyed and loved) but it also gave wisdom and a wider perspective of what an organised and coordinated organisation can achieve for a country. Can we do this at home?

Promise Matatiyo, Project Coordinator (https://2050.scot/malawi-climate-leaders/)


Malawian Youth Climate Leaders meet Scottish Government Ministers

January 25th, 2019 Posted by News No Comment yet

MaSP and 2050 Climate Group shared experiences of the Malawian Youth Climate Leaders project with Scottish Government Ministers this week.

Promise Matatiyo and Joanna Ziwa met with  Ben Macpherson, the Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development and Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

Here, they had the opportunity to share their stories about innovative energy solutions, sustainable development education and climate change advocacy in the country.  It was also a chance for the Minister and Cabinet Secretary to hear firsthand about the impact this project has already had on the lives of young leaders in Malawi.

Climate change impacts in Malawi includes extreme weather events that induce devastating flooding and droughts, which negatively affect food and water security, energy security, livelihoods and conservation efforts.

Vera Kamtukule, Chief Executive of the Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP) said: “Malawi is a country, which is at the sharp end of the effects of climate change where its impacts are a reality now.

“Nearly half of Malawi’s population is aged 18 or under and so it’s right that young people are key agents of change in this most pressing issue.

Malawian Youth Climate Leaders Promise and Joanna meeting with Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, MSP and Ben Macpherson, MSP

“The interconnectivity of the effects of climate change with our economy cannot be over emphasised. I know from Minister Ben Macpherson’s visit to Malawi last summer, which we greatly appreciated, that listening to the voice of Youth is a priority for the Scottish Government as well.”

As part of the Scotland’s 2018 Year of Young People, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced funding for a new partnership project between MaSP and 2050 Climate Group in April last year at the Youth Climate Summit in Glasgow.

Together, these organisations with the support from the Scotland Malawi Partnership are collaborating on the Malawi’s Climate Leaders project, which aims to deliver climate change engagement training and create a network of ambitious young individuals that want to contribute to a sustainable future.

The purpose of this partnership is to empower young Malawians and increase their leadership roles in climate action. The role of 2050 Climate Group is to inspire and support youth leadership while facilitating a two-way intercultural exchange between volunteers of both organisations.

MaSP has built many successful connections with existing youth organisations on the ground such as the National Youth Council, creating a steering committee of young individuals aged below 35 to shape the project activities and recruited 26 Youth Leaders from all over Malawi who will participate in the project.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government continues to support the efforts of the 2050 Malawi’s Climate Leaders project, which does fantastic work empowering young leaders to support the delivery of a just, low carbon future.

“The Minister for International Development and I were delighted to hear directly from two of the project’s young climate leaders. The work they are doing to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and building a network of young people who are committed to finding socially-just solutions to tackling climate change in Malawi is truly inspirational.”

Elizabeth Dirth, Trustee of 2050 Climate Group, said: “Young people, as crucial stakeholders in tackling climate change and its coming impacts, should be given the knowledge, tools, and authority to create a future they want to be a part of.

“This holds true just as much in Malawi as it does in Scotland. This project between MaSP and 2050 Climate Group is a key example of an ambitious and innovative climate change project run by young people for young people.

“As Scotland’s youth-led charity empowering young people to take action on climate change, we think it is essential for the international community to recognise and nurture young people to be leaders on climate action and climate justice.”

For more information, visit the 2050 Climate Group website.

Malawi’s Climate Leaders: an update

October 29th, 2018 Posted by Current Projects, News No Comment yet

At 2050’s last Youth Summit in April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced funding for a new partnership project between the Malawi-Scotland Partnership (MaSP) and 2050 Climate Group. This Malawi’s Climate Leaders project aims to engage young Malawians in climate change challenges in their communities and on a global scale. It hopes to help them tackle the social, environmental and economic effects that climate change has on their future, and to empower them to take action and become the voices of change for their generation.

Our local project team consists of Project Coordinator, Promise Matatiyo, and Project Intern, Chinsisi Kazuwa, who went on a trip to Northern Malawi last week to connect with other youth organizations active in climate and environmental change. This trip took them from the MaSP office in Lilongwe to the city of Mzuzu in the Northern Region. Here, they visited a Youth Against Climate Change forest conservation project in Mzimba and a water purification project by Centre for Youth and Development (CYD).

Malawi has a very young population, with over 60% of the population being below the age of 24. There has been an increase in social and environmental awareness among this younger generation and a strong interest to participate in tackling climate change issues. Therefore, our project team is currently mapping the climate action work of other youth organizations to see where the opportunities for action are. These project visits last week were the first step in building a network of engaged young individuals with whom to share ideas and collaborations for climate action.

This week, the first meeting of our Steering Committee, consisting of young people, is taking place. With this committee, the project team will co-design the project activities to align them with the leadership skills and climate change themes that are most beneficial to Young Leaders in Malawi.

In January we are very excited to welcome Promise and one of the Young Leaders in Scotland for a month-long intercultural exchange visit. Afterwards, two members of the 2050 volunteer team in Scotland will travel to Malawi in February-March.

Please stay tuned for updates on the progress of this exciting new project and the events that will be taking place during our exchange visits through our newsletter and social media!