Malawi is losing about five percent of its gross domestic product due to climate change, Director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Natural Resources Taonga Mbale Luka has said.
Luka was speaking in Lilongwe on Monday at the start of a five-day conference on the loss and damage and climate finance to help shape the narratives for Africa ahead of CoP27.
The conference has been organised by the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance and Civil Society Network on Climate Change (Cisonecc).
Mbale described the loss as colossal, saying the resources lost could have been used for other development activities.
Cisonecc Executive Director Julius Ngoma said the loss could be bigger than the five percent, saying there are other losses emanating from climate change that are hard to compute.
“Most of the times, we are looking at the losses in financial terms but there are other elements such as soil fertility, natural forest and others which are not computed easily but need to be accounted for to paint a full picture of the losses,” Ngoma said.
He said climate change is not just coming with issues of adaptation and mitigation, saying even where people do adaptation, there are also challenges of other issues in the name of loss and damage.
“So we need financing for mitigation, adaptation and we also need financing on top of that for loss and damage.
“Now on the part of loss and damages, we are saying African countries need to improve on our end of documenting what has been damaged and present these things to all those that are going to help us in terms of financing,” Ngoma said.
Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance Head of Programmes and Research Charles Mwangi said, in the last two CoPs, Africa came out disappointed because there was nothing much to gain because the African position has always been watered down.
He said Africa is one of the hardest-hit continents by the climate crisis due to pollution created elsewhere.
“The regional conference we are holding in Malawi would ensure that matters of loss and damage receive high visibility in the run-up to the Egypt-hosted 27 Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change later in November 2022.
“The conference aims to achieve three broad outcomes which include deriving a common understanding of the extent of loss and damages, the scope of past climate-related damage as correlated by professionals and model anticipated damages,” Mwangi said.