Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Richard Msowoya, last Friday launched the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus’ (MPCC) programme of activities for 2018. He delivered an impassioned speech to media and the MPCC membership on the importance of protecting Malawi’s wildlife, forests and environment, saying: “Conservation is now a necessity for the very survival of humanity. We have a moral responsibility to do all we can to turn this tide of destruction before it is too late, for the benefit of our constituents and the country as a whole.”
Launched by Malawi’s President H.E Arthur Peter Mutharika in 2015, the MPCC has joined a growing international network of conservation caucuses, initially set up with the support of the International Conservation Caucus Foundation. Membership is open to all members of Parliament, and the model critically provides a non-partisan platform for engagement with government agencies, non-profits and businesses through the Conservation Council.
The Caucus aims to build partnerships across political party lines on conservation and natural resource management, educate and inform on conservation issues, raise awareness and encourage active participation.
Msowoya emphasised the bi-partisan power of the caucus model in his speech, standing as an open platform to advocate for a conservation agenda, and he appealed to all Members of Parliament to join the Caucus. Current membership stands at 25. He also highlighted the previous achievements of the MPCC, in particular their role in lobbying for the amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Act which was passed in record time in 2017. The MPCC is now turning its attention to forestry legislation, which will be a key focus through 2018 and 2019. In addition to wildlife and forestry crime issues, the MPCC is also keen to tackle issues on biodiversity, pollution and natural resource management in the future.