Justice in the forests: Malawi
Burning issues: The problem of charcoal details how the FGLG team in Malawi put the charcoal issue on the map as the country’s’ third largest industry and brought government together with charcoal producers in search of more sustainable and pro-poor policy solutions.
Charcoal is one of Malawi’s biggest industries. It provides livelihoods for over 45,000, supplies the energy needs to more than 85 per cent of Malawian households, but 60 per cent of that charcoal comes from the country’s forest reserves and its production is destroying its forests.
In an effort to control the industry, the government drafted the Forest Act of 1997, which only allows charcoal to be produced under license. But so far, this policy is proving ineffective.
Burning issues explores the nature of the problem with Charcoal - its production – which has such devastating environmental impacts. It presents the case for community managed forests as a possible solution to charcoal production - and that legalisation and management can make it a sustainable source of green energy as well as reducing poverty at the community level. And it shows how by bringing the issue out in the open with a public debate, including multiple stakeholders, can have tremendous results for policy and behavioural change.