Land degradation neutrality and the weak avoid, reduce and reverse priorities in Malawi's soil laws

Elsevier, Soil Security, Volume 14, March 2024
Mulwafu T., Kamchedzera G.

This article concludes that the pertinent Malawi soil laws on land degradation neutrality (LDN) have weak Avoid, Reduce, and Reverse priorities. The article uses Roscoe Pound's theory of social engineering to underline ecological interdependence as an overriding interest in resolving the interests of people and nature. Using a doctrinal and comparative approach, the article identifies provisions in Uganda and Germany's soil-dedicated legal frameworks that incorporate the Avoid, Reduce, and Reverse priorities. The analysis leads to the finding that unlike in Germany and Uganda, there is a reticent consideration of soil conservation in Malawi's soil-related legislation to get soil users to Avoid, Reduce and Reverse. This is because Malawi's approach to soil conservation is human-centered; lacking an ecocentric and deep ecology approach to inform the legislation.