Section II








LMNP World Heritage Site Summary Report 2005

II.1         Introduction


a)      State Party: Malawi


b)      Name of World Heritage property: Lake Malawi National Park


c)      Geographical coordinate to the nearest second: Approximately 14¬∫ 02ÄôS, 34¬∫53Äô E


d)      Date of inscription on the World Heritage List: 2nd November, 1984


e)      Organization responsible for the preparation of the report

Organisation:                     Lake Malawi National Park

Address:                             Lake Malawi National Park, P.O. Box 48

City:                                     Monkey-Bay,

Telephone:                         (265) 1 587 456 / 728

Fax:                                      (265) 1 759 832

e-mail:                                  [email protected]


f)       Date of report:    30th January 2006


g)    Signature on behalf of State Party


Sefu, L.D.

Director of National Parks and Wildlife, Malawi



II.2         Statement of Outstanding Universal Value


In the original nomination, it was stated that Lake Malawi National Park inhabit a fascinating and diverse rock-dwelling cichlids (locally known as ÄúmbunaÄù) many of which are endemic to Lake Malawi National Park and its spectacular rugged landscape is of exceptional natural beauty. The slopes fall directly to the lakeshore. The lake waters are remarkably clear and that the national park is the only lacustrine park in Africa. These World Heritage values makes the park / site to be of outstanding universal value. The Committee inscribed the property on the World Heritage List as a natural site based on criterion ii), iii) and iv) at the time of inscription (1984), i.e.:


ii) an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological process in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water ecosystem and communities of plants and animals;

iii) contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance; and

iv) contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of science or conservation.


(Note: the criteria  now fall under Para 77 bullets viii, ix and x in the updated Operational Guidelines of February 2005)


It is important, then to note that the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value adequately reflect the definition of the outstanding universal value of Lake Malawi National Park, hence, there is no cause to re-consider these values. Lake Malawi National Park was established through the Act of Parliament; hence, the gazettement of the boundaries was clearly described and gazetted and is adequate for the conservation of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.


II.3         Statement of authenticity and/or integrity


The evaluation of the authenticity and/or integrity of the property at the time of inscription was based on the following:


To date, the values on which the property was inscribed are being maintained since the property is being managing as a national park.  To further strengthen the management and conservation of the park resources, the Wildlife Policy is promoting the involvement of communities. This has lead to the formation of Village Natural Resources Committees (NRCs) and three Village Trusts (VTs) in villages within and adjacent to the park. These efforts are backed by law enforcement operations which are being conducted in the area as stipulated in the management plan / strategies for the site. On the other hand, the research unit recommends management strategies and procedures for better management of the park. Education and extension unit also contribute to the better management of park resources by carrying out activities aimed at enhancing public awareness about the importance of the park and its resources, most particularly, as a World Heritage Site. This is emphasised for the fact that the site habours communities within its boundaries.


II.4         Management


II.4.1     Legal and institutional framework


Lake Malawi National Park is managed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1992 as amended 2002). Under this Act, the resources of the park are managed and controlled by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Lake Malawi National Park, in particular. As a protected area, utilisation of park resources is restricted and sustainable management measures have been instituted to curb the illegal harvesting of resources. This is being strengthened by the Wildlife Policy that promotes collaborative management and private sector involved. The Department also undertakes law enforcement patrols and have powers to arrest and even confiscate any resource obtained illegally from the park.


The Wildlife Policy mandates park management to work in collaboration with local communities within and outside park more closely and share responsibilities and benefits accruing from the management of the park. The collaborative management being advocated by the policy backed by the amended Act (2002) has resulted in the formation of three Village Trusts (VTs) and several natural resource committees (NRCs).


The park has a management plan which stipulates the management and implementation strategies inline with the policy of the department. Besides that, there is also a strategic tourism management plan for Malawi which also describes the tourism development for the site.


The park is being managed by four sections/units which are: administration and management; wildlife management; research and planning and education and extension.


II.4.2     Ownership and Management

(a) Legal mandate.  No change has occurred for the site since inscription or last periodic report in regards to ownership, legal status, and boundaries but what only changed was the Wildlife Policy and act where the concept of collaborative management is incorporated. The Lake Malawi National Park is being managed based on the Wildlife Policy and backed by National Parks and Wildlife legislation. (Note: LMNP management plan, Wildlife Policy and National Parks and Wildlife Act 1992 and Amendments, 2002 to be sent separately).


(b) Full name and address of an agency directly responsible for the property: 


Full name of agency:        Lake Malawi National Park,           

Address:                             Lake Malawi National Park, P.O. Box 48

City:                                    Monkey Bay. 

Country:                             Malawi


II.4.3     Assessment of Human and Financial Resources


(a)Human resources

Number of staff available:               46

Number of vacant posts: 13

Categories of available staff:

                              Officer In Charge:              1

                              Section Heads:                  3

                              Field Staff:                          14

                              Problem Animal Control:  5

                              Extension Officers:            3

                              Research and Planning:   2

                              Administration/support staff:        18                                        


(b) Financial resources

Required annual budget (recurrent) = MK3,840,000 (US$30,720)


© Training needs for staff

Staff mainly those in management and research requires training in monitoring. Training courses on the management of WHS and GIS required is a priority.


II.4.4     Scientific and Research Projects, Education and Information


(a) Scientific Studies and Resaearch Projects

The research studies carried out by parks and foreign researchers include:


(i) Internal Research Studies

Mapping of large mammal distribution; Woodland monitoring, Impact of feeding of mbuna fish, Meteorological monitoring, Evaluation of the performance of the law enforcement, monitoring of fish species in the park and monitoring of human wildlife conflict are conducted by research unit. It is important to note that research unit lacks major research equipment for aquatic studies. 


(ii) External Research Studies

Some of the research projects carried out for the park which gives management insights include:

o       Rural Subsistence and Protected Areas: Community Use of Miombo Woodlands of Lake Malawi National Park.

o       Lake Malawi National Park: A Case Study in Conservation    Planning.

o       Assessment of Impacts of 100 metre aquatic zone of Lake Malawi national Park on the management of cichlids fish

o       Artisanal Fishery in Socio-economic Development of Rural Communities in Malawi: A Case Study of Enclave Villages of Lake Malawi National Park,

o       Ecological Interaction Between the Introduced and Native Rock - dwelling Cichlids, of Lake Malawi National Park. 

o       Indigenous Knowledge and Natural Resources Management: Towards the Renaissance of Indigenous Fishing Practices in Chembe Village along the Shores of Lake Malawi.

o       A Preliminary Survey of the Enclave Villages of Lake Malawi National Park, with an Overview of Fisheries and Commonly Caught Fishes of Lake Malawi.


(b)          Education and Extension Activities for the Site:


Education and Extension Unit of the park conducts outreach and extension programmes to communities in and around the park. The site also receives school and wildlife clubs almost every weekend. The environmental centre offers educational programmes aimed at sensitising and building capacity on the communities and clubs in natural resource management, LMNP in particular. The environmental programmes/themes were formulated taking into account the values of the park as a WHS and the target groups. The centre also conducts guided nature walks and aquarium interpretations which included in-situ cichlids observations.  The information centre exhibits materials the general importance of conserving wildlife and environment, in general terms.


¬©            World Heritage Logo


The property has a World Heritage plaque placed at the gate and main office and visitor information centre and the World Heritage logo on the letterhead indicating that Lake Malawi National Park is a World Heritage Property.       


II.4.5     Visitor Statistics

The site receives fewer visitors because of poor visitor facilities for overnight tourists. The annual visitation varies but do not go beyond 4,000. Right now, there are only two visitor sites: Mumbo/Domwe Islands run by Kayak Africa and Golden Sands run by Lake Malawi National Park. The visitors come from within Malawi, South Africa, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, America, Belgium and several other overseas countries. In 2004, the park registered 3236 tourists and in 2005, about 3113 tourists visited the park and majority of them were day visitors. The touristsÄô facilities at Golden Sands are to be developed very soon.


II.4.6     Review of Management of the Property

The property is being managed using the legislation and policy for the central administration and that the policy and legislation were revised in 2000 and 2002 respectively to incorporate the collaborative management concepts. Hence, further review not anticipated and that the property is being maintained in its original conservation state.



II.5         Factors affecting the property


II.5.1     Degree to which the property is threaten


Some factors that are threatening the property are as follows:


(a) Development Pressure


Visual integrity: The management of waste is a problem in the enclave villages which have a bearing on the quality of environment in the area.  In other areas, illegal fresh wood cutting for poles and firewood in the terrestrial area of the park has been recorded.


Functional integrity: According to the survey reports, the biological diversity of the LMNP aquatic zone is not threatened. The diversity and abundance has been maintained since the communities/fishermen were sensitised about the importance of conserving the fish resources of the 100 metre zones and that the enforcement has been improving over the years.


(b) Environmental pressure:


The illegal utilisation of fresh wood will have a long-term effect on the woodland management of the park. The enforcement coupled with extension has assisted in minimising and reversing the trend.


The site is heavily affected by fires some of which are started by the communities and in some cases, by tourists. The management is in the process of developing fire management plan since it has not been incorporated in the LMNP management plan.


(c) Visitor / tourism pressure


At the moment, there is no visitor pressure in the park for the fact that the tourist facilities are in dilapidated status and cannot compete with the services offered by accommodation facilities mushroomed in Chembe Village.  The EIA will be conducted as a requirement before development of LMNP Golden Sands tourists facilities. 



(d) Number of Inhabitants


The park has five enclave villages within its boundaries. Chembe village is the largest among the four with a total land area of 8.5km². The number of people living in these villages are increasing. It is estimated that the five enclave villages have a population of about 18,000 people (1998 estimates). It is believed that there is a population increase due to natural factors and immigration and is envisaged that this trend of population growth impacts on the parks resources, mainly, firewood. Illegal fresh wood harvesting have been encountered within the resource utilisation zones.


Being fishermen, culturally, the enclave communities mainly depend on fishing for their livelihood even though minority depend on the natural resources from the park. These enclave villages do their fishing activities in the open waters and not in the 100m aquatic zones which are protected. Sustainable collection of fuel wood and other forest products is done in an organised manner where parkÄôs office issue permits and the communitiesÄô activities are monitored.



II.5.2     Prevention of the Threats


a)                 Methods of counteracting the threats:


The Lake Malawi National Park Management Plan is emphasising on the involvement of communities in the management of protected areas.  Natural Resource Committees (NRCs) and VTs have been formed in adjacent villages so that local people can participate in decision making for better management of Lake Malawi National Park since, it has been realised that the communities are the custodian of the natural resources.


The amended National Parks Act stipulates the management measures of the protected areas in the country. The law enforcers with assistance from VTs are guarding against illegal resource users in both aquatic and terrestrial components of LMNP. Fishing pressure in the park has reduced tremendously due to frequent aquatic patrols and improved working relationship with local communities. 


The fire management plan will be developed which will address the problem of uncontrolled fires in the park. The guidelines for tourism development in the protected areas stipulate the type of development in the park. 



II.6         Monitoring


Monitoring exercises

a)            Fish

The ÄúmbunaÄù fish and their habitats are the main focus of attention in the aquatic zones of the rocky shores of the lake.  These fish are protected in Lake Malawi National Park and occur in abundance.  Several research projects have been conducted on the ÄúmbunaÄù  and the recent monitoring surveys has established that the ÄúmbunaÄù population is in abundance. Monitoring of fish in the permanent aquatic survey plots which were established in 1983 continue to take place and so far, there is no significant change on the species composition, abundance and localisation. There is a periodic monitoring programme for these fish species.


b)            Forests

A study conducted by Joanne Abbot (1996) concluded that the woodland structure of the park is being modified in the direction of shorter, more open woodland as a result of fuel wood use by the enclave communities.  The fuel wood use by enclave villages is monitored and regulated to avoid degrading the terrestrial environment and thereby, impacting on he aquatic environment. The research unit is implementing a woodland monitoring programme and make management recommendations. In addressing these management recommendations, community participation and awareness campaigns continue to be implemented in the affected communal areas. 


c)            Wildlife

The park has a small number of large mammals.  These are: Baboons Papio ursinus, Velvet monkey Cercopithecus aethiops, Blue monkeys Cercopithecus mitis, Hyraxes, Klipspringer Oreotragus, Bush buck Tragelaphus scriptus, Common duiker Sylvicapra grimmia, Hippo Hippopotamus amphibius, Otters, Grysboks Rhaphicerus sharpie, Bush babies Galago crassicaundatus, Civet Viverra civetta, Ant bears Orycteropus afer, Porcupines, Bush pigs Potamochoerus porcus, Hyena Crocuta crocuta, Leopard Panthera pardus and Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros.  The distribution pattern and population is being monitored.  Most of the big game are found outside the park like elephants, hippos and lions which are still under the management of LMNP. The leopard is extremely rare in the park.


d)            Community Mobilisation

Communities in and around the park continue to participate in the management of the park and their activities are being coordinated by the education and extension wing of the park. The 3 VTs and NRCs formed in and around the park have shown their willingness in supporting conservation efforts of the park.



II.7         Summary of Conclusion and recommended action


(i) Main conclusion regarding the state of the World Heritage property:  The property was inscribed to protect the ecological and biological processes that form natural phenomena of exceptional beauty.  There has been no change in the authenticity and/or integrity of the site since inscription in 1984 and the state party has put in place measures that this continues being maintained as stated in items II.2 and II.3 above.


(ii) Main conclusion regarding the management and factors affecting the property (items II.4 and II.5 above): The property is managed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and guiding principles in the Wildlife Policy.  The Act has been amended to incorporate the concept of collaborative management (CM) emphasising on involvement of relevant stakeholders, particularly, the local communities. The collaborative management being advocated by the Wildlife Policy has lead to the formation of three VTs and several NRCs in and around the park thereby, contributing to the conservation and management of the park.  Awareness in regards to the CM continues to be undertaken by the extension wing of the park.


The park has well-articulated management plan and the Department has also tourism development guidelines emphasising the type of structures to be constructed and the need for conducting an EIA. 


The park has five enclave villages within its boundaries.  The numbers of people living in these villages continue to increase thereby exerting pressure on resources which they use for their energy requirements. There is a mechanism of checking firewood collection in the park. The illegal fishing in the 100m zones had been a problem since the proclamation of the park in 1980 since most of the local people rely on fishing for their livelihood but this trend has been tremendously reduced for the fact that aquatic and terrestrial patrols are being intensified. Community awareness, sensitisation and participation are also playing a major role in curbing the illegal activities in the park.


(iii)        Proposed future actions


v      Enhance monitoring of the aquatic ecosystem.

v      Awareness and sensitisation programmes on the benefits and importance of LMNP World Heritage Site and capacity building for local institutions.

v      Formation of 4 VTs around Lake Malawi National Park.

v      Improve management of the ecosystem. It is required that the research unit be equipped with fish monitoring equipment (diving gears) which will enable researchers monitoring mbuna populations and their distributions including monitoring of the status of their habitats.

v      Enhance WHS Äònet-workingÄô. LMNP being the only WHS in the country, not much is known what is going on internationally. To improve on coordination and access of WH information, it is required that LMNP be supported in purchasing a set of computer and Internet connection.

v      Develop fire management plan

v      Development of tourist facilities at Golden Sands. This will improve revenue generation for the park.


(iv)         Responsible implementing agency

Institution:                         Lake Malawi National Park

Address:                             Lake Malawi National Park, Box 48

City and Postal Code:       Monkey-Bay,  Malawi

Telephone:                         (265) 1 587 456 / 728

Fax:                                      (265) 1 759 832

e-mail:                                  [email protected]



(v)          Timeframe for implementation


One Fiscal year (12 months) Äì preferably, to be finalised within July to June (2006/07) fiscal year.


(vi)         Needs for international assistance


There is a need for International assistance in order to improve coordination and management of LMNP. The areas requiring urgent external support include:



II.8         Experiences

The State Party is obliged to have participated in several international workshops organised by WHC on the management of WHS and the implementation of the WH Convention. The recent site managersÄô and DirectorsÄô workshop which took place in Kenya resulted in the development of Eastern and Southern region website, where site reports and contact details have been posted and that several management issues affecting the sites were discussed. The park also receives external researchers from both academic and research institutions who assist in carrying out research projects, mainly, the aquatic work.


The Department is also a national secretariat for Ramsar Convention and also is getting technical support from the Danish Hunters Association and other NGOs. 



LMNP World Heritage Site Summary Report 2005