Strengthening the Information Base of Natural Habitats, Biodiversity and Environmental Services in the Shire Basin

Under the overarching Shire River Basin Management Programme, this project aims to increase knowledge of biodiversity and natural habitats within the Shire River Basin, and support Malawi’s responsibilities under their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).

  • LTS is building capacity by working closely with its Malawi Government counterparts in the Forest Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM) and National Herbarium and Botanical Garden (NHBG).
  • The LTS team is comprised of zoological experts, botanical experts, GIS and land use planning specialists and a communications expert.
  • The knowledge generated through both remote assessment and field studies will be used to inform management decision making and improve understanding between biodiversity managers and local communities on the sustainable use of biodiversity.

The work has already helped identify Globally Rare and Restricted plant species and assessed the regeneration potential of degraded areas in the Shire River Basin.


Information on biodiversity in the Shire River Basin, including natural habitats, has been scattered and sometimes inadequate for sound land use planning decisions. As the title suggests, this project sets out to strengthen the existing information base on natural habitats and biodiversity by producing an inventory of existing data and additional primary data from targeted botanical and zoological surveys.


LTS is conducting studies on natural ecosystems, habitats and biodiversity in the Shire River Basin, focusing on a number of key sites: Lengwe and Liwonde National Parks, Mangochi, Tsamba Eastern Escarpment, Matandwe, Zomba-Malosa and Liwonde Forest Reserves. Rapid assessments have also been carried out to identify other biodiversity hotspots and important corridors within the basin.

Value and benefits

The intended outcome is for land use planners in the Shire River Basin to make decisions based on up-to-date and comprehensive information related to natural habitats, regeneration potential, zoological biodiversity and ecosystem services.