Tag Archives: Malawi

Importance of FCFA work with tea farmers highlighted by Malawi heatwave

A recent heatwave in Malawi has highlighted the risk that climate change poses to the tea farming sector. Future Climate For Africa's CI4Tea project has been working with tea farmers and other sector stakeholders in the southern districts of Mulanje and Thyolo to co-produce decision-relevant climate information. Occurrence of consecutive very hot days, as was experienced at the end of October, was highlighted as a major concern. Evidence of leaf scorch and the inevitable impacts on yields have underlined the importance of planning for a changed future climate. CI4Tea's work has therefore been publicised on the Future Climate For Africa website and Climate Home News and accompanied by a short film on Climate Change and Tea: Challenges for Malawi and Kenya.

Kulima participating in presentation of UMFULA project at the University of KwaZulu Natal

The UMFULA project (under the Future Climate For Africa programme) is holding meetings this week at the University of KwaZulu Natal in which Dr Katharine Vincent is participating. This includes supervision of Honours and Masters students researching water issues among commodity farmers and a writeshop to develop a paper on the use of weather and climate information by small-scale sugar contract farmers in Malawi. On Tuesday Katharine will participate in a Research on Tap Seminar at the Centre for Water Resources Research, together with Emma Archer, Rebecka Henriksson Malinga and several students, in which they will present some of the project's findings on the use of climate information in medium-term planning decisions and the case study in Malawi.

New Grantham Research Institute working paper with inputs from Kulima-“Insurance as a catalyst for government climate planning?”

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment have just released a new working paper from the UMFULA project with inputs from Dr Katharine Vincent. The paper, Insurance as a catalyst for government climate planning? A framework for analysing drivers and barriers, tested against evidence emerging from Sub-Saharan Africa, explores how climate risk information emanating from insurance processes can support a move towards anticipatory climate risk management. Using information from insurers in Africa, as well as case studies of different types of insurance in Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa, it presents the underpinning political economy factors that influence the process of climate information uptake, highlighting that the clear scope for dynamic interaction between insurers and users can face many challenges that go beyond availability and suitability of data. These challenges include limited trust, unclear risk ownership or lack of incentives, even if there is motivation, risk-awareness and overall buy-in into the need to manage climate risks. All three cases show the importance of sustained engagement and capacity building to increase awareness of the role of insurance-related climate risk information and its potential benefits and uses.

‘The current and future climate of central and southern Africa: What we have learnt and what it means for decision-making in Malawi and Tanzania”-summary of UMFULA project released

After 4 years of research by a multi-disciplinary team and co-production in partnership with government staff, the UMFULA project has released a briefing note that discusses "The current and future climate of central and southern Africa: What we have learnt and what it means for decision-making in Malawi and Tanzania". It highlights how understanding the likely future characteristics of climate risk is a key component of adaptation and climate-resilient planning, but given future uncertainty it is important to design approaches that are strongly informed by local considerations and are robust to uncertainty. Choosing the right tools and approach for climate risk assessment and adaptation to suit the scale of the decision allows a suitable trade-off between robustness and resources  required (time and expertise) for analysis. In the medium term, policy decisions require careful cross-sectoral planning, particularly in cases involving large  investments, long life-times and irreversibility, where there is a strong argument for assessing resilience to future climate change (for example around water, energy and food in Malawi and Tanzania). Co-producing knowledge, as in UMFULA, contributes to building societal and institutional capacity to factor climate risks into long-term planning. It also builds the capacity of researchers to better understand real world decision contexts in which climate change is one of many important factors.

Kulima participating in UMFULA project writeshop in Pretoria

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Pretoria this week, joining colleagues Professor Andy Dougill from the University of Leeds and Professor Emma Archer from the University of Pretoria for a writeshop on the UMFULA project. As it comes to the end of its lifespan, they will synthesise key findings on climate information for medium-term planning in the water, energy and agriculture sectors for Malawi, taking into account the current policy and institutional context and information needs of the new National Planning Commission. 

New working paper led by Kulima “Creating useful and usable weather and climate information-Insights from Participatory Scenario Planning in Malawi

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment has just released a new working paper led by Dorothy Tembo-Nhlema and Katharine Vincent, with Rebecka Henriksson Malinga from the University of KwaZulu Natal. The paper, Creating useful and usable weather and climate information-Insights from Participatory Scenario Planning in Malawi, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa programme's UMFULA project. Based on qualitative research, it finds that advisories co-produced through the Participatory Scenario Planning process have been used by farmers to successfully reduce risk. However the scaling up and sustainability has been challenged by technical constraints relating to delays in the release of the national seasonal forecast and staff availability, and financial constraints which limit the extent to which the process can be carried out at district level. These challenges are reinforced by the lack of a policy framework.

UMFULA launches new brief projecting future water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin

The Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just released a new brief Projecting water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin. Led by Dr Ajay Bhave from the University of Leeds, the UMFULA research team has developed an open access water resources model (WEAP) that highlights potential future changes in Lake Malawi water levels and subsequent flows in the Shire River basin. Water availability has implications for energy (hydropower generation), food production (irrigation capacity) and environmental flows (for example through the maintenance of the Elephant Marsh wetland). Results indicate a range of potential futures, which illustrates the importance of adaptive decision-making approaches that are robust to uncertainty in supporting improved water management and infrastructure development in Malawi.

 

Kulima director in Malawi for annual meeting of GCRF Building Research Capacity for sustainable water and food security In sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcIA) project

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Malawi this week to participate in the annual research meeting ot the GCRF Building Research Capacity for sustainable water and food security In sub-Saharan Africa (BRECcIA) project. BRECcIA aims to “strengthen individual research capabilities and institutional capacity in three countries: Kenya, Ghana and Malawi” and do this in order to carry out impactful and high-quality research that leads to positive changes in policy and practice for sustainable water and food security. Katharine is a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the project, and will be providing inputs to the applicability of research findings in the region and to the complementarities with other related initiatives. 

Kulima participating in annual review meeting for the UMFULA project

Dr Katharine Vincent is joining colleagues from the Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications (UMFULA) project today for the annual review of progress with funders DFID and NERC. The meeting is taking place with the lead institution, the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As it nears the end of its lifespan, UMFULA has undertaken novel research into decision-making processes and the institutional structures that government climate change policy in southern Africa, and supported decision-making under uncertainty in the water-energy-food nexus in Malawi and Tanzania.

Kulima participating in UMFULA annual meeting in Dar es Salaam

Dr Katharine Vincent and Dorothy Tembo-Nhlema are representing Kulima this week at the annual meeting of the UMFULA project (part of the Future Climate For Africa programme) in Dar es Salaam. The meeting brings together the climate scientists, impact modellers and social scientists from the UK, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania and Cameroon to feed back on research findings and, with less than a year until the end of the project, to synthesise emerging lessons. It will be followed by a range of stakeholder events, including presentations to the Tanzania Meteorological Agency and TANESCO (electricity company), and a student session at the University of Dar es Salaam.