Malawi is currently Southern Africa’s principal transit hub for elephant ivory and other illicit wildlife products. Wildlife crimes such as the bush-meat and illegal pet trades are still commonplace and not only cause suffering for individual animals but also threaten species with extinction.
Despite the ongoing conservation challenges in Malawi, 2017 was a successful year for Lilongwe Wildlife Trust – regulations protecting an additional 216 species were passed in Parliament, the Wildlife Crime Justice Programme produced record results, veterinary support was provided for the world’s largest elephant translocation and Malawi’s first Wildlife Research Institute was set up, to name just a few.
The government’s progressive and collaborative approach, coupled with the all-important support from our local and international partners, has helped us drive many initiatives forward. Thank you to our supporters, volunteers and staff for your continued dedication – you make these achievements possible!
Sadly, the challenges continue into 2018, and we need your support more than ever. If you’re interested in volunteering, becoming a member or making a donation, then please get in touch.
WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT
- In 2017, 114 arrests were made – an average of 9.5 per month versus 0.7 before establishment of LWT-supported investigations and intelligence units.
- Regulations were passed in Parliament which has placed an additional 216 species considered threatened in Malawi under protection, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates, plants and fungi.
- LWT’s new justice programme is having a significant impact in the courts. Average sentences have risen to 3.6 years and 125 traffickers have been put behind bars.
- Record sentences of up to 18 years were passed for wildlife trafficking and Malawi’s first convictions for pangolin trafficking were secured.
WILDLIFE WELFARE, RESCUE & RESEARCH
LWT is committed to easing the suffering of wild animals and working for the survival and wellbeing of species. This year:
- LWT continues to run the government’s nationwide wildlife emergency response unit and the country’s only sanctuary
- Veterinary support was provided for the world’s largest elephant translocation (an African Park’s project including 500 elephants) for the second year running.
- Captive care regulations were completed supporting the new Wildlife Act. It is now a crime to mistreat wild animals or hold wild animals in captivity without a license.
- Malawi’s first Wildlife Research Institute was set up in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve in partnership with Malawi government and Conservation Research Africa.
EDUCATION & ADVOCACY
LWT recognises the importance of influencing Malawian people to protect their wildlife and by doing so, inspire future conservation ambassadors. This year:
- Tailored conservation education programmes were expanded in 170 communities around the protected areas of Nyika, Vwaza, Kasungu and Salima
- LWT was appointed to run programmes for the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus Foundation
- New films ‘Elephant, I Miss You’ and ’30 Years’ reached over 20,000 people through a community roadshow
- A new snare jewellery line was launched to raise awareness about wildlife crime and generate income for local communities