On behalf of President Chakwera, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi has today announced that Malawi will join Angola, Costa Rica and Gabon in promoting an additional Protocol under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) on preventing and combating illicit wildlife trafficking.

“We can no longer stand by as we witness the destruction of our nation’s natural heritage”

“We are aware that wildlife crime is a highly-organised transnational phenomenon and no single country can successfully eradicate it on its own. But we are determined to do our part,” said H.E. Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera in his passionate statement. “We can no longer stand by as we witness the destruction of our nation’s natural heritage.”

Joining Angola, Costa Rica and Gabon, Malawi is the fourth country calling for preventing and combating illicit wildlife trafficking to be embedded into the international criminal law framework in the form a Fourth Protocol under the UNTOC (the existing Protocols being on trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, and firearms trafficking).

“The illicit trafficking in wildlife products is controlled by transnational organised criminal groups who corrupt public officers and profit from the destruction of Malawi’s precious natural resources. A stronger international legal framework is urgently needed to tackle these destructive crimes, and I am proud to see my country leading efforts to make such a framework a reality,” said Hon. Werani Chilenga, Chairperson of the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus.

“We commend Malawi for its strong leadership in combating wildlife trafficking, and offer our full support in advancing President Chakwera’s call for an additional Protocol under the UNTOC,” said John E Scanlon AO, Chair of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime (EWC).

As a result of work on Malawi’s announcement, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust has been invited to join EWC as an International Champion. The initiative aims to achieve a new global agreement on wildlife crime and amend existing international wildlife trade laws to include public health and animal health. End Wildlife Crime is an alliance of individuals and organisations that support the need for these law reforms.