Authored by Brad Czerniak

Lake Malawi in the Africa Great Lakes region is one of the deepest lakes in the world. The total number of fish species in Lake Malawi is estimated at approximately 15% of the global total of freshwater species and approximately 4% of the world's fishes. Particularly noteworthy are the high diversity of haplochromine cichlids. It is listed as a world heritage site due to its outstanding universal values. Lake Malawi is about 586 km long and 16-80 km wide covering 20% of Malawi's earth surface. The lake plays a critical role in promoting national tourism, agriculture production, drinking water provision and energy production. Economic development activities endanger human security of the communities around the lake. Malawi has a population of 17 million. Lake Malawi is being faced by challenges in balancing conservation and development. Unsustainable agricultural activities from siltation and sedimentation of the lake through waterways and rivers flowing into lake result from the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture. Overfishing, postharvest losses and lack of value addition towards fisheries. Climate change has resulted in reduced water levels of Lake Malawi. The water levels in Lake Malawi have dropped from 474 meters above sea level (ASL) to as low as 472.97 meters in recent years. Unsustainable mining activities leading to water pollution. Oil exploration and pending drilling on Lake Malawi are not meeting international standards in the planning process. Against this background, the key purpose of this paper therefore is to develop understanding in balancing conservation and development.