Malawi launches guidelines to fight invasive alien species – Capital Radio Malawi
17 July, 2024

Malawi launches guidelines to fight invasive alien species

PS Richard Perekamoyo(4th from left)and Neno DC Rosemary Nawasha (1st left) launching three books to fight invasive alien species

Malawi has declared war against invasive alien species by developing guidelines in three conservation publications, to fight these key drivers of biodiversity loss.

Invasive alien species are plants or animals which are introduced in the environment accidentally or deliberately and once established they compete with taking appropriate action to prevent further biodiversity loss.

The three publications namely the National Invasive Species Strategy, Action Plan and the Invasive Species Pathway Analysis Study Report were launched on Friday during the joint commemoration of the 2024 World Environment Day and International Day for Biological Diversity in Neno district.

These publications are aimed to address invasive alien species in the country, with a call for collaborative efforts with development partners and the private sector.

Speaking during the launch guest of honour, Principal Secretary for Administration in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change Richard Perekamoyo said the government has development an invasive alien species field guide to support rapid identification of invasive species.

“I therefore call upon the private sector, development partners and all sectors in government to take an active role in implementation of land restoration initiatives to contribute to reversing the current loss of biodiversity and land degradation which in turn will mitigate climate change impacts and the native species” said Perekamoyo.

He also encouraged the relevant stakeholders to get hold of the important knowledge products and be part of the solution in prevention, controlling and managing invasive species in Malawi.

“The field guide provide information on what species should not be planted on our land while the National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan provides guidance on actions to be taken in controlling and managing invasive species. Let us collaborate in the fight to eradicate these unwanted species to halt biodiversity loss and conserve our land,” he added.

He further highlighted that his Ministry is giving much focus on community civic education with support from different ministries and department to ensure total adherence to reducing practices that destroy biodiversity.

Also speaking at the event, Neno District Commissioner Rosemary Nawasha explained that various projects including by-laws are in place to reduce biodiversity loss, wanton cutting down of trees for charcoal production as well as destructive farming practices.

“There are many projects that we carry out in the district to make sure that communities are planting more trees especially in bare lands and we are also discouraging those involved in charcoal production because the practice is rampant here,” said Nawasha.

She adds “So we have security officers patrolling different areas to make sure trees are protected and reduce the effects of climate change, while those involved in the malpractices are brought to book to face the wrath of the law.”

Latest environmental reports indicates that billions of hectares of land are degraded, affecting almost half of the world’s population and threatening the world’s economy including Malawi, according to latest environmental reports.

Currently, up to 60% of Malawi’s land is affected by soil erosion and nutrient loss, and the country loses around 29 tons of soil per hectare per year. 

This year’s World Environment Day was commemorated under the theme “Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience” while the biodiversity day was held under the theme “Be Part of The Plan, Our Land Our Future”.

This joint event also highlighted measures of enhancing resilience to drought, restoring, protecting and well management of land to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly those on climate change, poverty eradication, food security, water and biodiversity conservation.

This is in line with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030 in which Malawi is observing the theme under the slogan “Our Land Our Future” (Dziko Lathu, Tsogolo Lathu)” and 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nation’s Convention to Combat Desertification.

The International Day for Biological Diversity falls on 22nd May and the World Environment Day falls on 5th June every year to raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity and sound environment management in maintaining ecological balance and providing essential services critical for human wellbeing and livelihoods.

Various organisations including the Coordination Unit for the Rehabilitation of the Environment-CURE, African Parks, Save the Children, Waste Advisers and Neno Macadamia Cooperative mounted pavilions in which they displayed different products and services they offer in the environment sector.

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