Strategy to engage communities in protecting natural resources

By Sheminah Nkhoma

As one way of protecting natural resources, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change has developed a new strategy that involves local communities to end deforestation in the country.

Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change, Dr Michael Usi, made the remarks during a press briefing in Lilongwe on Thursday.
In the new strategy, the government has partnered with chiefs and villagers to ensure that the environment is not destroyed.

Hon Vera Kamtukule

“It is sad to see people destroying natural resources. Many who cut down trees to produce charcoal do not stay in the community. As such, we want to work with the community to protect natural resources.

“Only people with permits or licences are allowed to operate,” said Usi.

He expressed concern that people are destroying game reserves, forests and national parks, and as such, working with communities will help in addressing malpractice.

Minister of Tourism, Vera Kamtukule, highlighted the importance of protecting natural resources, saying it is one way of generating revenue.

“People from outside the country come to Malawi to visit such places, and if we are not caring for them, it will be a loss to the country.

“As government, we are ready to work with the communities because the 25 percent we get from natural resources is given back to the communities. If the resources are destroyed, the communities will not be able to get the fee back,” said Kamtukule.

She therefore urged people who are surrounded by Natural Resources to make sure that they support the government in ending the malpractice of destroying Natural Resources.

Hon Michael Usi