Christopher Manda – Environmental Inspector, Environmental Affairs Department, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining
I graduated from the School of Agriculture Policy and Development in 2015, and I now represent the Environmental Affairs Department in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining on a technical advisory committee, responsible for overseeing the development of renewable energy in Malawi.
The Ministry provides policy guidance and direction on matters concerning natural resources, energy and environmental management in Malawi. My department (Environmental Affairs), is made up of four divisions; Information, Education and Outreach; Biodiversity Management; Environmental Impact Assessment and Pollution Control; and Legal Affairs.
As an Environmental Inspector, I am in the Information, Education and Outreach Division, involved in the development of information, education and communication materials tailored for policy makers and the general public. I currently lead the agriculture sector in a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded programme helping to establish a Greenhouse Gases (GHG) inventory system from Malawi to enhance our reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
I am also an alternate government focal point for the Third National Communication (TNC) and Biannual Update Report (BUR) Projects, supported by UN Environment aimed at producing the TNC and BUR report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Being nominated as an expert on the roster of experts under the UNFCCC will enhance my contribution to the global policy and management of climate change.
My current role directly relates to what I studied and researched whilst at University, giving me the opportunity to put theory into practice. Climate change has been an emerging field over the years, with heavy impacts facing Sub Saharan Africa due to a dependence of the economy on climate related sectors such as agriculture, and there are few experts in this field in Malawi.
Working in the information, education and outreach division presents another opportunity to capacitate the national and district stakeholders and communities in climate change. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the field I am always keen to learn more.
During my studies I wanted to be a renowned climate change expert, and contribute to policy making in climate change, environment and natural resources at a national and global level. Working for the Environmental Affairs Department has provided me with the opportunity to achieve my career aspirations and contribute to national policy making and implementation of climate change, environment and national resources.
I chose to study at Reading due to its global reputation, high class teaching and research experience. Being able to be taught by lecturers who have a huge amount of experience and passion for development in my region, Sub Saharan Africa and Africa gave me a bigger drive to study there. The multicultural environment of the University of Reading and the extra-curricular activities have really enhanced my critical thinking, presentation, writing and interpersonal skills.
The Climate Change and Development programme provided real and practical issues of climate change, as well a learning being backed up by guest speakers who are experts in the field.
Since leaving University I have been the head of the Environmental Information and Publication Section, Focal point for the TNC and BUR projects, Lead the Agriculture sector for the GHG inventory System for Malawi, and I have been nominated to the roster of experts for UNFCC.