Mutharika speaks against wildlife crime: Action needed, diplomats to Malawi urge

Protection of wildlife and nature is a core function that supports economic growth through opportunities found in key sectors that survive on biodiversity, says President Arthur Peter Mutharika.

President Peter Mutharika, officially launches the SAY NO TO IVORY TRADE Campaign Video before the Members of Diplomatic Corps at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana
President Peter Mutharika, officially launches the SAY NO TO IVORY TRADE Campaign Video before the Members of Diplomatic Corps at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana
Stop wildlife crime
Stop wildlife crime

He was speaking on Thursday at Kamuzu Palace when he launched a video on poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

“I believe that protection of wildlife needs to be a priority for my Government. We know the stakes if we do not do so: We will lose the wildlife species and biodiversity, and also lose opportunities for
economic development through tourism and the associated impacts on agriculture and human health,” he said.

The President said he did not hesitate to feature in the video when he was approached because he understand how key the combating of wildlife crime is to any functioning governance system.

The video dwells much on protection of elephants but the message still cuts across the whole spectrum.

“If we cannot save one of Africa’s most iconic species from extinction, then what hope do we have for the rest of our wildlife? Whilst we are focusing on elephants and the illegal ivory trade today,
let us remember that our own survival as humankind is based on our ability to protect our natural heritage. That is protecting everything from the most majestic of animals such as elephants and rhinos, through to the forests, birds and insects. The future of wildlife is in our hands, and indeed our own future depends on it too,” he said.

The development comes weeks after Malawi caught world attention when she burnt illegal ivory worth K5 billion, a gesture that got global recommendation and enhanced President Mutharika’s and his government’s resolve in the fight.

The Malawi leader warned all who commit wildlife crime telling them that under his leadership they don’t have liberty of action.

“My government is working hard to combat wildlife crime. We are adapting to the growing threat by strengthening laws, improving our law enforcement and increasing our inter-agency and cross-border cooperation, among so many other strategies,” he said.

He further urged media houses, government departments, non state organizations and all Malawians to help spread the message and bring awareness to the public to get involved in the fight.

The video initiative has been facilitated by diplomatic missions in conjunction with Lilongwe Wildlife Trust.

Speaking on behalf of diplomatic missions and honorary consuls , BritishHigh Commissioner to Malawi Micheal Nevin said fight for  wildlife crime is a global issue.

“To coin a relatively new phrase, this is a ‘glocal’ issue – global in nature, with local impacts and characteristics. This isn’t just about a bunch of foreign do-gooders in Malawi interested in animals instead of humans. This is a global effort to protect animals which need protection, but in doing so also protecting the interest of humans,” said Nevin.

He added: “A decline in animal species destroys our environment which we depend on to live, and we risk anarchy and misery from the impact of crime and criminal groups if we let them get away with it.

“Given the connections to corruption and other organised crime, tackling the illegal wildlife trade is a way to achieve multiple impacts. “

Nevin said Malawi is making “a very positive impact” internationally with its efforts to stop wildlife crime and attracting ever more assistance as a result.

“Malawi is up there with the larger countries in Africa, Asia and beyond, becoming known for its action to address this problem, despite the many challenges the country faces,” he said.

Nevin however called for more action, saying there are too many National Parks Rangers involved in the illegal killing and selling of Malawi’s wildlife.

“There are too many corrupt officials to facilitate the trade, with rumours too of political collusion among some politicians and those in authority,” he said.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
6 years ago

POACHING CAN BE ENDED THE SMART WAY. The Heritage-Invoice | All the COSTS and EXPENSES incurred in the ILLEGAL-SLAUGHTER of animals is COMPUTED and handed to the FIRST CARTEL / SYNDICATE member traced to the crime. This can be even a poacher. They KILL ON ORDER! There is a CRIMINAL-CHAIN LINKED to every local-poacher which leads to the real criminals outside. The Heritage-Invoice | This document in US Dollars Adds the cost of the slaughtered animal to the EXTERNAL COST OF ITS PART – tusk, horn etc. The Transport, Man-power, allowances, Legal costs etc, etc, etc, are added together. AND… Read more »

6 years ago

On wild life protection, you are personally doing an excellent job Peter. Now you need to tackle the corrupt officials in dpp and other colluders in govt and the whole chain of evil surrounding the pouching of wildlife.

Also you need to have a strong word with the Chinese and other foreigners who are facilitating the killings of wildlife and creating a false or fake market for pouching. There is no legal market for wildlife poaching or Ivory.

6 years ago

While telling us about the evil of poaching and we should protect our wild life for our today and tomorrow’s betterment is gud, but the problem is with the rangers themselv-es, the people who live around the protected areas, mountains, the rich people and the politicians who knows how to bypass the security checks, and where to sell. The ordinary people are involved because they are corniving with the rich, and also by cutting down of trees either for charcoal or burning of bricks.

Read previous post:
Thyolo district council, CSOs sign MOU

The Thyolo district council  has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the...