Speech by Mrs Susan Lylis, Vice-President of International Conservation Caucus Foundation
AT THE LAUNCH OF MALAWI PARLIAMENTARY CONSERVATION CAUCUS (MPCC) AT PARLIAMENT BUILDING ON 3rd AUGUST, 2015
Your Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, State President of the Republic of Malawi
• Your Excellency Gertrude Mutharika, the First Lady for the Republic of Malawi
• The Speaker of the National Assembly, Right Honorable Richard Msowoya, MP
• The Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, and President for the Malawi Congress Party, Right Honorable Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, MP
• The Leader of the House in the National Assembly and Minister of Transportation and Public Infrastructure, Hon. Francis Ka-sa-EELA
• Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Mrs. Dumbuchena and Members of the Diplomatic mission
• The Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change, Hon. Werani Chilenga, MP, and your committee
• The Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Hon. Bright Msaka, SC
• The Minister of Information, Tourism, and Culture, Hon. Kondwani Nankumwa, MP
• All Cabinet Ministers present
• Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City Central, Hon. David Bisnowatty, MP
• All Members of Parliament present
• Directors and Representatives of Civil Society organizations
• Patricio Ndodzela, Country Director for African Parks – Malawi
• Members of the Press present
• Distinguished ladies and gentlemen
On behalf of the ICCF, I wish to thank Your Excellency, the State President of the Republic of Malawi for further demonstrating your commitment to protect the natural resources of Malawi by officiating the launch of the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus.
Zikomo kwam-bi-ri / chifoo-kwa / cha-kootilandira / bwino / kuno / ku / Malawi
The International Conservation Caucus Foundation was established in the United States as the secretariat to the leadership of the U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus – a bi-partisan coalition of U.S. Senators and Representatives dedicated to improving the role of the U.S. in supporting conservation around the world.
This model succeeded, and grew into the largest and most bipartisan collaboration in the U.S. Congress. With such rapid success, ICCF began to support the expansion of the conservation caucus model abroad, with the formation of multi-party conservation caucuses in Parliaments globally.
We are here today to commend Malawi for the swift and inspirational leadership it has shown in its commitment to conservation, by creating the newest conservation caucus – the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus.
It is truly rare and commendable when the leader of a country makes a commitment of this magnitude to protect the natural resources of its nation for its citizens and future generations – and then follows through with immediate action. His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has done just that.
In November of 2014, Malawi became one of 7 nations to sign the Arusha Declaration on Regional Conservation and Combating Wildlife and Environmental Crime. With this signing, Malawi joined neighbors in East and Southern Africa committed to cross-border collaboration in the fight to conserve the region’s incredible natural heritage.
In April of 2015, in response to Malawi’s staggering loss of wildlife and biodiversity, HE went before the US Congress and pledged to intensify Malawi’s fight against wildlife and environmental crime, recognizing that poaching and wildlife trafficking are not only a threat to conservation, but also a threat to security, economic stability and livelihood.
In July of this year, HE signed an agreement with the President of Zambia to establish a Trans-Frontier Conservation Area. This area will be jointly managed by Malawi and Zambia authorities to conserve its wildlife and natural resources for the mutual benefit of the people of both nations.
And, of course, the reason we are all here today: HE has pledged his support to the launch and development of the multi-party Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus.
In April of this year, ICCF hosted Hon. Werani Chilenga and Hon. Mwai KAMU-yambeni in Washington, D.C. to engage with Parliamentary leaders from Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia – and members of the US International Conservation Caucus. This Parliamentary exchange coincided with His Excellency’s visit to the U.S. to be recognized at ICCF’s US Congressional Gala.
As a result of this Parliamentary exchange, Malawi’s Parliamentary Leadership swiftly and efficiently mobilized the formation and launch of Malawi’s Parliamentary Conservation Caucus.
The MPCC is a coalition of MPs that is open to participation from ALL COMMITTEES AND ALL PARTIES, which encourages a diversity of perspectives, opinions, and knowledge. The caucus provides a forum for its members to engage with a collaboration of stakeholders from other government agencies, the business community, NGOs, and development institutions, for the purpose of developing a deeper understanding of the conservation challenges facing this country, and to pursue collaborative natural resource management actions.
The MPCC joins a network of conservation caucuses around the world, creating opportunities for greater collaboration across borders and across oceans.
This network includes the International Conservation Caucus in the US Congress, the Parliamentary Conservation Caucus – Kenya Chapter, the Zambian Parliamentary Conservation Caucus, the Namibian Conservation Parliamentary Caucus, the Tanzania Parliamentary Friends of the Environment Caucus, and the Colombian Congressional Conservation Caucus.
Historically, the caucus model succeeds best when there is proactive engagement and support from Government, civil society, and industry. The Government of Malawi has demonstrated its commitment at the highest levels, but faces significant challenges ahead.
We now encourage all stakeholders in business and civil society to join this collaboration by investing your technical expertise and financial support towards working with the caucus and jointly developing solutions to conservation challenges in ways that promote both conservation and economic development, and secure the future of this country’s great biodiversity.
And a special thanks to all business and civil society organizations who have already invested in the success of this launch, including African Parks, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, Carlsberg, CEPA, GEF, Alliance One, Premium Tama Tobacco, Robin Pope Safaris, and UNEP.
Malawi is endowed with incredible natural wealth. Through collaborative action, political will, and global coordination, Malawi can achieve its goals for both conservation and sustainable development.
ICCF is proud to work with the leadership of the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus:
• Hon. Werani Chilenga
• Hon. Alex Major
• Hon. Mwai KAMU-yam-beni
• And Hon. Ayeesha Adams;
We are honored to support the development of ICCF Malawi;
And we are honored to support the conservation leadership of His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.