Invasive Alien Species Management Project

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are one of the biggest threats to biodiversity and livelihoods. In Malawi IAS are adversely affecting locally and globally significant biodiversity, and are invading and threatening a range of habitats, as well as, indirectly, the livelihoods of millions of people depending on natural ecosystems for food, commodities and energy security. Malawi has recognized the need to implement Article 8 (h) of the CBD to mitigate the threats of IAS. They have also agreed to meet Aichi Target 9 which states that “by 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment”. The project will also address Aichi Target 12 by contributing to the conservation status of threatened species and Target 7 by enhancing the sustainable management of areas under agriculture. The project also addresses many of the SDG’s, including one of the targets under Goal 15 which encourages countries to “introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.”

Bracken fern is not an alien but an invasive species common in Nyika and in Mulanje Mountains

This project aims to enhance the capacity of Malawi to manage IAS, especially in protected areas and surrounding agro-ecosystems, by strengthening existing national and protected area specific frameworks for the prevention and management of IAS. A multi-sector approach is being used, targeting the identification and management of high-risk pathways to prevent the introduction and further spread of IAS and biocontrol of the worst IAS.

The objective of this project is to prevent new invasions and reduce the current impacts of IAS in protected areas and adjoining agro-ecosystems in Malawi. The project seeks to:

  • establish national framework and capacity to enhance IAS management in protected areas and associated agro-ecosystems
  • strengthen on-the-ground IAS management in existing protected areas through invasive species control and habitat restoration, as well as in adjoining agro-ecosystems through sustainable farming for improved welfare, and
  • improve knowledge management and broader adoption of developed strategies in Malawi protected areas. International cooperation will bring in expertise to develop best practices for the management of selected invasive species. The project will also invest in raising awareness of IAS nationally which will be one of the most important means to increase the willingness and levels of core government funding to IAS management, all of which are rather low in the two target sites.  

For more details about the project, please contact Ms Mphatso Kalemba on