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Professor Sosten Chiotha is the Regional Director of the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Southern and Eastern Africa. LEAD is collaborating with a number of partners to implement research and development projects on climate change adaptation, ecosystem services as well as capacity building on the linkage between population, environment and development.
Previously, he served as the first Board Chair of the Malawi National Commission of Science and Technology, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Southern Voices on Climate Change (SDV) and the Board for the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP).
He has been involved in the drafting of the Malawi National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) and more recently in the drafting of the Malawi Climate Change Policy and Malawi Meteorological Policy. Some of his work has included promotion of renewable energy. As national coordinator of the regional project on Innovative rural learning areas (IRALAS) Funded by Swedish International Development Agency, he provided support to Malawian farmers to visit Arusha, Tanzania in 1995 to appreciate among other innovations, the use of biogas by rural farmers. Through the Lake Chilwa Climate Change Adaptation Programme funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and implemented in collaboration with World Fish and forestry Research Institute of Malawi, a national stakeholder forum on renewable energy was organized in 2013. Further, LEAD was a member of the consortium implementing a renewable energy project, RENAMA (RENEW N ABLE MALAWI) that established solar kiosks in two rural communities in southern Malawi. The project was funded by the Scottish government and implementing partners included Concern Universal, International Resources and Recycling Institute, EQNON and WASHTED.
He has led and contributed to many research and consultancy projects for international clients, including donor agencies such as DFID, USAID and the Norwegian Embassy as well as international organisations and bodies including the World Bank, UNEP, UNDP, UNFPA, FAO and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Sosten was in the team that set up MESA (Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African universities) as part of the UN decade on Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and through this coordinated the formation of the Zomba Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE).
He was the Lead author of the 2010 Malawi Environment and Outlook Report and apart from Lecturing on medical parasitology at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, also served as the University’s Research coordinator for six years and coordinator for Masters in Environmental Science for five years.
He is also coordinating in Malawi the ASSETS (Attaining Sustainable Services from Ecosystems through Trade-off Scenarios). The project is implemented in Malawi, Colombia and Peru through a consortium of nine International Institutions, coordinated by the University of Southampton and Funded by the UK's Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme (ESPA).
Sosten is a graduate of the University of Malawi (Bachelor of Education), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Master of Science in Medical Parasitology) and University of Maryland, USA (PhD in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science)
Professor Sosten Chiotha talking to MBC at Chancellor College, Zomba, Malawi describes the themes that LEAD Training covers and why they are important to Sustainable Development.