The Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPCC) was launched on 3rd August by Malawi’s President, His Excellency, Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika, as a multiparty coalition of MPs committed to conservation and natural resource-based economic growth.
MPCC membership is open to any member of parliament and currently boasts over 35 members from all represented parties. President Mutharika became the official patron in November 2015, securing support for this initiative from the highest levels of government.
ICCF Malawi, an affiliate of the ICCF Group, is the secretariat for the MPCC and also includes the Conservation Council, which is a ‘brain trust’ of partner organisations that will include corporations, development institutions and NGO’s who will provide financial and technical support for the MPCC’s programmes.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust sat on the organising committee for the launch and have since become a founding member of the Conservation Council. To date, we have worked together with the MPCC and the ICCF Group to formulate the MPCC’s action plan for 2016, co-hosted a workshop on forest and wildlife crime and consulted them on the amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife Act. They are also supporters for our Stop Wildlife Crime campaign.
This new partnership represents an opportunity to push wildlife onto the political agenda in a country where there are so many issues that need attention – poverty, food security, education, health, disaster resilience. Natural resource conservation is intrinsically linked to so many of these challenges, and this is something that members of the MPCC well understand. They are using their standing in Parliament as well as their influence as respected figures within their local constituencies to champion the urgent need to protect Malawi’s forests and wildlife before it is too late.