Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus Sets 2018 Agenda

February 16, 2018
Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus Sets 2018 Agenda

The Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPCC), which garnered praise from the Speaker of Parliament for past efforts to work across party lines toward the conservation of Malawi’s wildlife, forests and environment, has launched its 2018 program of activities.

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Last Friday, the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPCC) launched its 2018 program of activities. Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Richard Msowoya addressed members of the caucus, applauding them for their efforts to work across party lines toward the conservation of Malawi’s wildlife, forests and environment.

Speaker Msowoya set the tone for the MPCC agenda, saying, “Conservation is now a necessity for the very survival of humanity. We have a moral responsibility to do all we can to turn this tide of destruction before it is too late, for the benefit of our constituents and the country as a whole.”

The MPCC, launched by Malawi’s President H.E Arthur Peter Mutharika in 2015, with the encouragement and support of The ICCF Group, last week identified forestry as a key focus through 2018 and 2019. The MPCC played a key role in 2016, voicing support for the amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Act, which strengthened penalties for wildlife crimes. Going forward, in addition to wildlife and forestry crime issues, the MPCC is also keen to tackle issues on biodiversity, pollution and natural resource management in the future.

Speaker Msowoya addressed some of these issues directly. “About 36 football fields of forests are being lost every minute around the world,” he said. “It is sad to note that, here in Malawi, we have the highest rate of deforestation in the SADC region.” The speaker added, “The impacts of this over-utilisation of natural resources are already having far reaching impacts. Biodiversity declines will soon start affecting agricultural yields; where fertilisers can only replace good soil health for so long. And once the forests are gone, we cannot bring them back. That’s lost revenue from sustainable timber sales, loss of fuel wood for many community members, even the loss of soil stability. More droughts, maybe even desertification, ironically more floods…we know the picture.”

Msowoya, in his keynote address, also emphasised the multi-partisan power of the caucus model and appealed to all Members of Parliament to join the caucus. Current membership stands at 25.

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