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Multiple stakeholders' economic analysis in Climate change adaptation Case study of Lake Chilwa Catchment in Malawi

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani 4th April 2012 16:13


Image: http://svenaake.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/lake-chilwa/

Lake Chilwa basin is a very important catchment that is providing livelihoods to more than 117,031 farm families. The basin is endowed with a number of resources like water, fish, birds, grass (for thatching and constructing houses and boats, mats, fish traps, birds' traps and baskets). There are different stakeholders utilizing and managing the catchment. These have different objectives that are conflicting.

Due to increase in drought incidences and erratic rainfall as a result of climate change, irrigation has been promoted and more land is being cleared go grow more rice and irrigated maize. This has increased soil erosion causing siltation and reduced water flowing into the lake there by reducing fish productivity. This study estimates that the loss in value due to reduction in fish productivity is about US$ 1,003,580 per year. An additional US$ 249,460/year is lost on site in irrigation lands due to loss in soil fertility and siltation.

To supplement their income after crop failure or reduction in fish catches the community in the catchment have increased hunting birds and doing craftwork with lake reeds. An increase in bird hunting is causing an estimates loss of US$59,238/year from reduction in birds' population.

A multi-stakeholder analysis was conducted in the catchment to evaluate the economics of climate change adaptation. Results show that irrigation objectives of increasing rice and maize output are reducing total benefits from the catchment. Including soil and water conservation technologies in irrigation and rain fed agriculture increases benefits in all stakeholders. This can ensure sustainability and increased efficiency of adaptation strategies being implemented in the other resource sectors e.g. closed season in fisheries and bird hunting. An additional of US$8,473,433/year worth of food crops is estimated on top of eliminating the loses to fisheries and birds resources. Therefore, planning for adaptation of climate change in this catchment area would need thorough communication of all stakeholders to ensure positive benefits and increased efficiency of downstream adaptation strategies.