Peter Mutharika disappointed with depletion of resources
Malawi President Peter Mutharika says the rate at which the country’s natural resources are being depleted is disappointing.
Mutharika said this at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre when he met a delegation from the United States based International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF).
He mentioned the elephant population which has halved since 1980, the dwindling Chambo population in Lake Malawi and massively depleted forest reserves across the country as some of the natural resources depletion trends that are not pleasing to hear and need to be stopped forthwith.
Mutharika, who described natural resources conservation as a matter of life and death, mentioned over-exploitation and unsustainable utilisation of natural resources as major challenges in the government’s natural resources conservation drive.
“Our existence as mankind is supported by natural resources. And again Malawi has so much at stake. Malawi is a paradise of diversified natural resources and these are very important to our people’s livelihoods and also socio-economic development. Over 80 percent of domestic energy needs are sourced from wildlife and forest reserves. The conservation areas protect water resources and water is of course life,” Mutharika said.
He said the government has taken an aggressive stand to tackle the challenges that are rocking the natural resources conservation programmes and he is optimistic that the programmes will work.
“We are devising various policies, legislation and strategies to support the environment and natural resources challenges. We are taking decisive action against wildlife and forest plunder. We are currently reviewing forestry and climate change policies. Further, we are reviewing the wildlife and environment Act,” he said.
ICCF President John Gantt said the foundation will help Malawi in galvanising the political will through community education and helping in generating better policies, regulations and other legal framework in line with the historical and cultural context of the country.
“We are going to be helping Malawi with technical assistance in the world of national parks, wildlife, fisheries and land management, forestry and others,” Gantt said.
Chairperson for Malawi Parliamentary Environmental Conservation Caucus, Werani Chilenga, said the caucus has chosen Mutharika as its patron which signals the President’s commitment in natural resources.
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