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Bill to create independent environmental authority

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The Department of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, has drafted a bill proposing the establishment of an independent environmental protection authority.

The new proposition comes at a time when environmental degradation has destroyed most of Malawi’s vegetative cover.

According to the Director of Environmental Affairs Tawonga Mbale Luka. The bill is expected to be tabled in the next sitting of Parliament.

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Luka said the authority will be a semi-autonomous institution that will regulate management of environmental issues in the country.

“The bill has new sections that were not included in the current Act. We have brought in issues of climate change. There are also issues of access and benefit sharing. This is in regard to access to biological resources and benefits arising from use of those resources,” she said during an interfaced meeting with journalists held last Friday.

The new bill also tackles issues of pollution and waste management.

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“Some of the effects of climate change include drought, floods and mudslides among others all due to inadequate vegetation cover. So the bill has strengthened these provisions. The new bill also strengthens enforcement and the powers of inspectors,” she said.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change, Werani Chilenga, said the bill proposing the establishment of an environmental protection authority is crucial to Malawi considering the level of environmental degradation in Malawi.

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