Malawi plans to legalise charcoal production

The Malawi Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG) plans to secure government’s commitment to sustainable charcoal production and facilitate the spread of legal licensing of charcoal by supporting pilot projects in Zomba and other districts, it has been established.

Apart from that the group also plans to build government, citizen and civil society uses of legal tools, such as procurement policies for only buying sustainable licensed charcoal.

The FGLG teams bring together representatives of communities, governments, civil society organisations, businesses and the media, to explore the drivers of poor forest governance and to influence policymaking.

The revelations are contained in report released on Thursday, titled “Plans to protect forests could do more harm than good unless power is in local hands” by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Charcoal production to be legalised

The report highlights success stories at the national level, in which FGLG teams have influenced policy processes to promote outcomes that benefit forest-dependent communities who have been marginalised.

It draws on the work of Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG) teams in ten nations in Africa and Asia to promote decision making about forests that is fair and sustainable.

The Malawi group also aims to pilot the formalisation at district level of the community bylaws developed in Ntcheu, and use film and other media products to create greater awareness of community forest management rights and enterprise rights.

“FGLG-Malawi’s efforts to work with FAO and others in scaling up the community management at Ntcheu were modified in the light of the potentially substantial resources and attention which might be focused on charcoal production if a Millennium Challenge Corporation initiative with the government can be established,” said the report’s authors James Mayers and Leianne Rolington of IIED.

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