Malawi’s fisheries sector, built around the four primary freshwater ecosystems of Lakes Malawi, Malombe, Chilwa, and Chiuta, plays a significant role in the economics, politics, and social dynamics of the nation, providing employment for about 60,000 fishers and more than 450,000 fish processors, distributors, and others involved in the domestic fish trade. However, Malawi’s freshwater ecosystems are under considerable stress due to pressure from a growing population, a regulatory framework that largely allows for open access to fish resources that results in overfishing, environmental degradation of both land and water based habitats, and changes in climatic conditions.
CEPA in partnership with Pact, Christian aid, University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Centre (CRC), Community Initiative for Self Reliance (CISER), Emmanuel International and Wildlife and Environmental Society (WESM) with funding from USAID are implementing a five year project in the four major lakes in Malawi, namely; Malawi, Malombe, Chiuta and Chilwa. FISH project aims to improve fisheries biodiversity conservation through sustainable fisheries co-management and increase climate change resilience in the people who depend on the fishery resources.
CEPA’s role is to conduct evidence-based advocacy on environment and natural resources management policies and legislation, with an emphasis on governance of resources, accountability, institutional strengthening, and representation. CEPA will play a key role in policy, advocacy, and dialogue in order to create an enabling environment for conservation and management, providing policy briefs and guidelines to guide partners’ activity implementation. CEPA will also specifically backstop and support partner activities to promote sustainable fishing practices, based on the research and assessments undertaken by the project. The project is expected to phase out by September 2019.