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Government reviews National Parks Act

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The government has started reviewing the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1992) in a bid to tackle poachers and other threats to wildlife.

Acting Principal Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, George Masinga, said they had also introduced a prosecution department for speedy handling of wildlife-related crimes.

Masinga made the remarks when the German government, through Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), handed over seven vehicles to benefit Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve and Nyika National Park.

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He said, through the prosecution department, they would be working hand-in-hand with Malawi Police Service prosecutors.

“As you know, the current Act has stayed for a long time and needs to be reviewed in some areas which we saw were not effective in the fight against wildlife crimes. We are, therefore, looking at the Act in totality.

“Let me also mention that we are in the process of reviewing the Tourism Act which has to fit in the Trade Act so that we can boost both local and international tourism for the benefit of the country,” he said.

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Among other things, the purpose of the National Parks and Wildlife Act is to conserve selected examples of wildlife communities in Malawi, the protection of rare, endangered and endemic species of wild plants and animals and implementation of international treaties, agreements or any other arrangement to which Malawi is party.

PPF Country Manager Humphrey Mzima said the vehicles would be key to addressing wildlife conservation challenges.

“We are expecting two more vehicles which are on the way. We are having plans to procure a tractor to maintain roads, particularly in Vwaza and Nyika,” he said.

The vehicles are worth K307 million.

The German government is, through PPF, supporting Malawi in the management of Nyika and Vwaza wildlife reserves through the Malawi-Zambia Trans-frontier Conservation Area project to the tune of Euros 23 million.

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