Malawi's budget Guidelines 2013/14 includes a chapter on Sustainability with references to the Poverty-Environment nexus.
PEI Malawi focuses on integrating sustainable natural resources management into national and sector policy, planning and budget processes. Following the government approval of the Guidelines for Integrating Environment and Natural Resource Management into national budgets in 2012, the Ministry of Finance have in the Guidelines for the preparation of the 2013/14 Budget included a chapter on the importance of the alignment with sustainability guidelines.
The chapter states that ‘for the 2013/2014 Budget preparation, it is imperative that Budget Agencies ensure environment and climate change priorities are appropriately reflected in the Budget submissions in accordance with the environment and climate change mainstreaming guidelines.’ It further recognizes the importance of poverty and environment linkages and encourages that environment and natural resources are being used ‘as a vehicle for poverty alleviation as an entry point for communities to appreciate their environment better.’
As recognized in the PEI programmatic approach, meeting the implementation challenge of poverty-environment mainstreaming requires particular attention to budget mechanisms. For PEI Malawi, this is another milestone in ensuring that sustainability and the poverty-environment nexus is well integrated into the national budget planning processes. This will be further strengthened through the implementation of the Decentralized Environmental Management Guidelines (developed with assistance from PEI) which aims to ensure that poverty-environment related activities are properly integrated into the District Development Plans. Previously, the work of PEI Malawi has influenced several policies and plans to integrate poverty-environment objectives including into the Guide to Executive Decision Making Processes and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) II.
Downstream, the integration of poverty-environment linkages into development planning and budget processes has the chance to improve the lives of millions of Malawians whose livelihood is dependent on natural resources such as forests and fish as well as enhance their resilience to climate change.