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‘Mulanje Mountain has to score outstanding universal values’

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Director of Museums and Monuments in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Lovemore Mazibuko Tuesday said the government once made submissions to Unesco twice for the listing of Mulanje Mountain as heritage site but did not succeed.

Mazibuko said this in reaction to players such as Lawi Group, who advocating the listing of Mulanje Mountain as a heritage site.

Musician Lawi as the ambassador of Mulanje Mountain alongside Mulanje Mountain, Conservation Trust and hikers, have teamed up to go on a hike next month as part of adding their voice to have the mountain registered as a heritage site.

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Mazibuko has since commended Lawi and the team for the work they are doing to safeguard Mulanje Mountain as well as embarking on a hike as part of awareness.

“There is a lot of destruction on the mountain and we are looking to submit again to Unesco for the listing. But, having failed twice, we are looking at engaging various stakeholders to beef up our submission,” Mazibuko said.

He said, for a site to be inscribed as a heritage site, there are a number of things that are considered and that, most importantly, they look at outstanding universal values.

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“Lake Malawi, for instance, got a nod on the basis of three outstanding universal values and these include natural outstanding beauty, clear waters and the islands found,” he said.

Mazibuko said there are over 1,000 species found in Lake Malawi and that, over the years, there has been evolution.

“We need to work on these before we present them and show the uniqueness and that’s where the key lies,” he said.

Emmanuel Maliro from Lawi Group said Mulanje Mountain is a national treasure and that it provides a lot to the locals around, including being a source of water.

“Mulanje Mountain is special to Malawians and it holds a lot of unique species only found in Malawi and many of them are going into extinction, hence Unesco should list it as a heritage site,” Maliro said.

He said the hike set for August 27 to 29 to the highest peak on Mulanje Mountain-Sapitwa-will see them involving different players including celebrities, chief executive officers and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi to lobby for the listing of Mulanje Mountain as a heritage site.

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