U.S. Inaugurates GIS Laboratory at Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife

Chongoni, November 29 – U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Mission Director Peter Trenchard, together with Malawi’s Chief Director for Environment and Climate within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy, and Mining, Mr. Bright Kumwembe, today opened a Geographic Information System (GIS)/Remote Sensing (RS) Computer Laboratory at the Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife located in Chongoni, Dedza District.  The GIS Laboratory will help map forest cover in Malawi so that the government may take better-informed steps to halt ongoing widespread deforestation.  Detecting changes in forest cover will help the government of Malawi to account for both forest loss and gain; and determine rates, causes, and consequences of land use change.  The program will also sponsor two Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife lecturers to pursue graduate degrees in Forestry in the United States.

“The U.S. Government is proud to support the Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife with state-of-the-art equipment and materials for its new GIS Lab.  This lab will be instrumental in efforts to safeguard Malawi’s natural resources for future generations and will be a critical tool for the implementation of forest and land management strategies in Malawi,” said USAID Acting Mission Director Peter Trenchard.

The Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife (MCFW), established in 1952, trains technicians for Malawi’s Departments of Forestry and National Parks and Wildlife.  In addition to its standard curriculum, the MCFW also conducts custom-designed short courses to help companies, organizations, and communities better meet their natural resource management needs.  It is one of the oldest training institutions within the SADC region and trains technicians from this region and East and Central Africa.