Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Energy, and Mining, Welani Chilenga, has today said that the United Nations (UN) have commended Malawi under the leadership of Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for its success on combating illegal wildlife trade.
Chilenga was speaking in Lilongwe during a press briefing that happened minutes after he came back from Nairobi in Kenya where he represented the country at the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA), the leading global authority on environmental issues.
He said countries participating at UNEA were amazed by Malawi’s commitment in conserving environment and wildlife.
“After I presented a statement highlighting the country’s story around its successes on combating illegal wildlife trade, countries participating at UNEA praised the government and partners such as Lilongwe Wildlife Trust for tirelessly putting in a lot of effort to conserve wildlife and the environment at large,” he said.
Chilenga added that being the Patron of Malawi Parliamentary Conversation Caucus, President Mutharika declared total war on wildlife crimes in 2016.
“Consequently, Malawi has achieved a lot in conserving its natural heritage and today we are proud to share to the world our success stories. Among the many success stories, the country managed to restore the former glory of some of our Game Reserves such as Majete, Liwonde, and Nkhotakota.
Malawi is probably the only country in the world that managed to translocate over 500 elephants, from Liwonde to Nkhotakota Game Reserves,” Chilenga added.
The Deputy Minister further said that Malawi’s participation at UNEA was important and beneficial as it was able to highlight the country’s firm commitment towards the environmental agenda on a global stage.
“The country’s participation at UNEA also paved way for Malawi to sell itself and raise its profile to the world through the sharing of success stories on combating illegal wildlife crime. This led to Malawi creating new partnerships which will support government’s efforts in achieving conservation,” said Chilenga.
At UNEA, a number of resolutions in conserving the environment were passed and Malawi has pledged to implement them.
“Our natural capital is very important to our economy and survival. It is for this reason that our country will continue to protect our natural heritage by implementing resolutions passed at UNEA. Among other resolutions, we will strive to reduce the use of single-use plastics, poverty, biodiversity and land degradation,” he said.
This was the fourth UNEA and the first time for Malawi to be represented. It took place from March 11 to 15, 2019 under the theme “innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable production and consumption.” UNEA is the highest decision-making body of the United Nations Environment Program.