Government urged to enforce environmental protection policies

The Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources says Malawi is not doing well in conservation of forests and mountains due to lack of political will in implementing policies related to protection of natural resources.

Chairperson for the committee, Welani Chilenga made the remarks as Malawi on Friday joined the global community in commemorating International Mountain Day which falls on December 11 every year.

Chilenga said the country has good policies and if implemented can restore its lost glory on natural resources.

He said: “Our country has the best policies but implementation remains a challenge to the effect that we are losing this war against deforestation.

“In as far as we are concerned, both the previous and the current governments including we the members of parliament have totally failed in this fight.”

Chilenga cited the volumes of charcoal trickling in from mountain forests as a clear indication that the authorities have completely failed to deal with deforestation.

Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo said apart from working with communities in the conservation of mountains, her ministry has written different companies to manage some of the mountains and forests.

“We are trying to encourage the communities to plant more trees and manage the regenerated shoots and also we have written letters to different industries requesting them to take in their custody some mountains so that they can manage them by planting and taking care of the trees using their own resources,” said Tembo.

Recently 50.7 hectares of forest cover was destroyed by a fierce fire in Zomba Mountain.

The International Mountain Day was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2003 to encourage sustainable development in mountains and this year is being commemorated under a theme: Mountain Biodiversity.

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