Freshwater red listing assessment in progress

This week the SVTP hosted top conservation experts in Malawi for a five-day workshop to update the IUCN Red List for Malawi following field assessments.

The field assessments focused on evaluating the status of existing plant and animal species that are under threat of extinction, species of high economic value, and endemic species of Malawi. Malawi’s biodiversity has been on the decline over the past years, for instance, Malawi used to have a lot of Mulanje Cedar which is endemic to the country. However, Mulanje Cedar is currently under threat of extinction due to over-harvesting and bush fires. The updated Red List will enhance decision-making by the government and other stakeholders on the conservation of existing and re-introduction of extinct species as well inform policy regime in natural resources management.

The International Union for Conservation of Natureโ€™s Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN Red List) was established in 1964 to assess the global extinction risk status of animals, fungus, and plant species. The tool is crucial for informing

Plants red listing assessment

global actions for biodiversity conservation and policy direction to protect natural resources.

In Malawi, the Red List was last updated in 2002 The new Red List will be complete by the end of the year. Experts comprised the academia (MUST, MUBAS, LUANAR, Mzuzu University, University of Malawi) and different government departments like Parks and Wildlife, Environmental Affairs, Forestry, Agriculture Research, and Fisheries among others.

Knowledge of the status of existing species will help Malawi in efforts to develop strategies of how to conserve threatened species, Inform Land Use planning, raise awareness for increased resources in conservation and reverse the decline of biodiversity in the country.