The
Mpatamanga Project will need to comply with Malawi’s laws, regulations and
policies including those relating to:

§  Land; Environment; Water Resources;
Biodiversity; and

§  Cultural Heritage; and Gender.

As a Public-Private Partnership (PPP)[BC1]  Project, the Mpatamanga Project
will also need to comply with international standards, including:

§  International Finance Corporation
(IFC) Performance Standards (PS) (2012).

§  World Bank (WB) Environmental and
Social Framework (ESF) (2016).

§  United Nations (UN) Guiding
Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011).

§  In early 2023, the following four environmental
and social (E&S) studies commenced: Environmental and Social Impact
Assessment (ESIA) and Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) Development.

§  Resettlement and Livelihood
Restoration Action Plan (RLRAP) Development.

§  Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)
Development.

§  Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA)
spanning the Shire River Basin (broader than Project area).

Updates on
their progress is being shared regularly; in monthly meetings with communities
in proximity to the main dam area; in quarterly meetings with a broader set of
stakeholders including government agencies and civil society organisations
(CSOs); and in regular update meetings with other affected stakeholders. Study
progress is also summarised in the Project’s quarterly newsletters.

As various international
lenders will be mobilised to support financing of the Mpatamanga Project, the
studies are being led by international environmental and social (E&S)
consultancies that are very experienced with these lender E&S requirements.
Malawian E&S consulting firms are also involved.

The E&S
studies that are now underway are building on data previously collected and the
findings of earlier studies. Summary versions of study ToRs are available here
[BC2]  and on Ministry of Energy
website. 

In addition
to these E&S studies that have been contracted by and are being managed by
MHPL, the Ministry of Energy (MoE) Project Implementation Unit (PIU) has also
commissioned and will manage studies related to labour influx management and
cultural heritage impact assessment. The findings of these studies will be
integrated into the Mpatamanga Project ESIA, RLRAP, and relevant ESMPs.

The ESIA
and supporting documentation will be lodged to the Malawi Environmental
Protection Authority (MEPA) in order to secure an environmental permit for the Project.
The E&S Studies will also be used by MHPL and the GoM to secure
international financing for the Mpatamanga Project.