The Role of Governance in Sustainable Land Management Malawian Experiences

Henry M. Sibanda


This article focusses on Sustainable land Management as a complex subject, that is highly dependent on governance structure and how effective they are, at all levels in government right down to the village level. Due to this requirement the governance issues plays the centre role especially the governance at the village level where it all happens. SLM encompasses issues like policies, land tenure issues, hence the need to use governance as an entry point. Although the governance at all levels is important the key is local governance which has gained the most significant role in solving the current situation in Malawi. It was approached from the revitalization and recognition of the traditional leadership ie the Village Headman, the Group Village Headmen, right through to the Traditional Authority. This is then blended with the Local Government structures ie the Village Development Committee, Area Development Committee with their sub-committees, of particular interest is the Village Natural Resources Management Committee (VNRMCs). This gave the local structure the legitimacy and confidence to effectively take control and management of the land and its natural resources. This was reinforced with the local by-laws that are linked and aligned to the District Council by-laws. This resulted in large significant areas coming under SLM.


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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