Malawi parliamentary committee members off to Washington DC,  recognised for conserving natural resources

The International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF), an educational foundation for United States of America (USA) leaders in international conservation based in Washington D C, has invited Co-Chairs of the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPCC) to a global legislative conservation summit to be held on 24 September in the USA capital.

Major: Going to Washington DC

The summit will focus on National Parks and Protected Areas: Threats and Opportunities, and the importance of good natural resource governance to sustainable national development.

According to a letter from ICCF President John B Gantt addressed to Speaker of the National Assembly of Malawi Richard Msowoya, Members of Parliament (MPs) and conservation caucus leaders from throughout Africa and Latin America will attend the meeting and contribute to the discussions.

MPCC Co-Chairs Werani Chilenga and Alex Major arrived in Washington D C on September 22, 2018 and will depart on the evening of September 27, 2018.

The letter says ICCF will also arrange meetings with U.S. congressional leaders, multi-lateral and US government agencies, and private-sector, non-profit and conservation leaders.

“As part of the program, we invite Honorable Major and Honorable Chilenga to be our guests at ICCF’s annual U.S. Congressional International Conservation Gala in Washington D C on the evening of Tuesday, September 25, 2018”.

The gala will celebrate American and Global Leadership in International Conservation.

Continues Gantt’s letter, “We  are proud to have partnered with you to build this global network of policy makers with your support over the years and we wish to recognize your profound contributions to further conservation governance and the good management of natural resources more broadly.

“We believe this Summit will cement and build upon the successes we have already achieved together and provide a foundation for continued cooperation and support in Malawi and globally”.

Adds the letter: “This Summit will present an opportunity for Honorable Major and Honorable Chilenga to share their experiences with their parliamentary counterparts from other countries, learn from their
governance and policy contexts, and discuss regional cooperation opportunities to ensure national parks and protected areas in Malawi and the region are well managed and protected”.

Chilenga has since commended ICCF for the invitation to the summit, saying the recognition highlights the positive contribution MPCC is making to the conservation of natural resources in the country.

According to Chilenga, MPCC was critical in advocating for the Wildlife Act Amendment Bill which increased maximum prison sentences to perpetrators of wildlife crimes to 30 years.

The caucus is currently tackling issues of forestry, fisheries, mining and pollution and pushing for the Forestry Act Amendment Bill which has been delayed for over 5 years now.

“We are also in a position to engage the highest levels of government and other relevant stakeholders directly in conservation issues to influence good policy direction and implementation,” said Chilenga.

Established in 2015, MPCC is a forum of some of Malawi’s MPs interested in conserving the country’s environment and wildlife.

Speaker Richard Msowoya is the coordinator of the caucus and Malawi’s President, Peter Mutharika, is the patron.

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