President Peter Mutharika has warned that the government will crackdown on round wood smugglers.
Speaking during the launch of 2015/2016 National Forestry Season in Ntcheu’s Traditional Authority (T/A) Masasa area on Monday, Mutharika said destroying environment is trying to wipe human beings out of existence.
“It is sad to note that some people don’t just care. There are some Malawians who are unshamefully smuggling out our precious wood such as mukula, tsanya and nkalati. Report them and stop them at once!
“Any crime against our environment is a crime against you and me. My government will not accept this behaviour. That is why my government has been toughening all laws that tackle and arrest eco-crimes. Any person involved in smuggling round wood will face the law of the land and there will be no mercy,” Mutharika said.
He said the floods last year were a tragedy of climate change, which is the cost of destroying the environment.
“The loss of life and property, the floods, droughts, erratic rains, hunger, and the emergence of strange diseases, is all the rebellion of nature against man.
“And we have all seen how natural disaster can sabotage and frustrate our agro-based economy and cause the suffering of many souls. In one way or another, these are tragic consequences of deforestation,” he said.
Mutharika, who reminded the audience of the good old days of plenty natural fruits and beautiful sceneries in his speech, said people cannot take natural resources and existence for granted and they have no other choice but to conserve natural resources.
“Either we do that, or we perish from the face of this earth,” Mutharika said.
The President then said Malawians should make it their sacred mission to plant trees, and replenish forests so that their days may be long in the land that God gave them.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka, said the ministry has 60 million free seedlings for all trees that the ministry plans to distribute during the tree planting season which is expected to end on April 15.
Msaka said the ministry expects that every Malawian will plant 12 trees by the end of the season.
The United Nations estimates that 36 million acres of forests world-wide are cut down each year.
In Malawi, it is estimated that between one and four percent of forest cover is lost every year due to construction, unsustainable agriculture practices and charcoal production among other actors.
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