Environmental and Natural Resources Management Interventions in the Middle Shire River Basin

The Shire Basin is the main source of Malawi’s electricity supply through the three hydro-electric power stations (HEP) located in the Middle Shire. Improving the reliability, quality and availability of this energy generation is central to any future economic development in Malawi and is a main aim of the MCC Compact with the Government of Malawi (GoM). Upstream environmental degradation within the Upper and Middle Shire River basin and increasing aquatic weed populations has an on-going detrimental impact on hydropower generation.

This Environmental and Natural Resource Management Interventions sub-activity of the MCA-M programme is aimed specifically at tackling these negative impacts which are principally caused by the environmental degradation of the catchments of the middle and upper Shire, and, in the case of the aquatic weed infestation, populations of invasive non-native species. In short, this consultancy assignment is to assess, prioritise and plan:

  • A set of land use management interventions for the middle Shire that will be delivered through a Trust mechanism and implemented by NGOs
  • A programme of biological control of aquatic weeds that reduces populations and aids existing and planned physical control mechanisms in the upper Shire to be implemented by the Department of Fisheries through the Trust mechanism.

LTS is providing the following services:

  • Overall management and administration of the environmental planning process
  • Stakeholder and gender analysis
  • Baseline assessment of social, economic and ecological drivers
  • Economic assessment of the ecosystem
  • GIS mapping and spatial analysis
  • Biological control of invasive species
  • Hydrological modelling
  • Community based natural resources management
  • Climate and vulnerability risk assessment

Image Credit: David Davies

Real-time Evaluation of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative: Measurement, Reporting and Verification

Through its REDD+ MRV and reference levels work track, NICFI supports MRV and reference level establishment activities through bilateral support to six countries (Tanzania, Guyana, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, and Ethiopia), multilateral support through the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) funding allocated to national MRV and reference level establishment, support to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Forest Carbon Tracking (FCT) initiative and to the Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI); and, “consensus building” activities focused on MRV and reference levels in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

The purpose of this evaluation was (i) to assess NICFI’s support to Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and the extent to which this support has contributed to NICFI’s general objectives and (ii) to provide feedback to NICFI and other stakeholders involved in efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conserve and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). To achieve this purpose, the evaluation had the following three objectives, as stated in the Terms of Reference:

  • Assess to what extent the support has contributed to national capacity building, institutional strengthening and MRV and forest inventory systems;
  • Assess to what extent the support has been coordinated with the efforts of other actors;
  • Assess the effectiveness and efficiency of different channels of support, where possible comparing these.

The evaluation was divided into three phases to aid implementation. Phase 1 was an intensive design phase to optimise strategic focus and develop the most appropriate and efficient sampling and assessment methodologies. Phase 2 focused on primary and secondary data collection and preliminary analysis through four steps aimed at ensuring efficiency, consistency and triangulation of information to generate strong evidence. In addition to desk review, extensive interviews were conducted in Cameroon, DRC, Guyana, Indonesia (Jakarta and Central Kalimantan) and Tanzania. Phone interviews of international stakeholders and climate change negotiators were also undertaken. Phase 3 involved the analysis and synthesis of the information collected, and reporting.

The evaluation Terms of Reference posed a set of questions to be answered by the evaluation and required an assessment of the scheme against the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development / Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) criteria of Relevance, Effectiveness and Efficiency.

A brochure on the MRV evaluation can be downloaded here.

Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Framework

This framework contract (Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Framework, FGMC) involves a series of mini competitions for contracts between 25,000 and 25 million pounds that will contribute to a global effort that will help protect up to 39 million hectares of forest over the next 25 years and contribute to the greater sustainability of food production. By reducing deforestation and degradation the programme will contribute to efforts that avoid emissions of up to 33 billion MT CO2-e at the very low cost of under 2 pounds a carbon tonne.

Timber that is legally logged in accordance with national laws will increase forest taxes, providing up to 13 billion pounds of revenue to cash-strapped exchequers in developing countries. The programme will help protect the livelihoods of tens of millions of poor people dependent on forests for their livelihoods by reducing illegal logging. It will give them a greater say in what happens to their forests and reduce the likelihood of conflict over forest tenure. Clear and secure forest tenure can enable forest dependent communities to double their incomes. Similarly improved legislation, and monitoring of legal compliance with respect to other commodities, will lead to increases in incomes for 50 million farming men, women and children, and improved working conditions for 10 million plantation and ranching workers employed in the palm oil, soy, beef and leather sectors. With illegal logging and forest clearance reduced, livelihoods protected, and carbon emissions avoided the program will deliver a benefit-cost ratio of 52 pounds for every 1 pound invested in the intervention.

LTS is leading a consortium for 7 of the 8 lots of this Framework contract. LTS is providing a management team to the LTS-led consortia and quality control of all tenders submitted by the consortium.

The LTS Framework Manager is Rebecca Adler.

Communications Materials for Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation

In order to fulfil communications needs for the ESPA Programme, the ESPA Directorate has subcontracted some key communication outputs to LTS. The outputs include a series of two-page briefing notes:

  • A summary of an ESPA Evidence and Impact Research Grant
  • Three ‘Evidence Notes’ on development impact of specific projects.

These will be published on the ESPA website and shared widely with various audiences worldwide.
LTS staff is:

  • Preparing the design template to be used for publishing these documents;
  • Engaging with the project leaders and report authors as necessary;
  • Developing draft material to submit to ESPA;
  • Revising/editing the drafts based on comments from ESPA; and
  • Delivering all four targeted briefing notes ready to publish on the ESPA website.

Image credit: eGuide Travel