Chakwera supports chiefs ’environmental initiative

Chakwera supports chiefs ’environmental initiative

 President Lazarus Chakwera has said traditional leaders have a critical role to play in ensuring sustainable management of the country’s natural resources.

Speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday when he presided over the closing ceremony of a two-day National Chiefs Forum on Integrated Natural Resources Management and Transition to Sustainable Agriculture and Livelihoods in Malawi, Chakwera described the chiefs’ role as key to promoting the reinforcement of mechanisms, processes, rules and regulations for environmental preservation.

The forum, which brought together chiefs, district commissioners and various stakeholders in natural resources management, was aimed at delineating the roles and responsibilities of traditional leaders across Malawi and, among others, constructing a collaborative framework to enhance governance of natural resources.

Putting pen-to-paper: Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani V and Chakwera

Chakwera said as the government moves to make the environment more productive and healthy to sustain lives, such efforts cannot be accomplished without the leadership of chiefs who are the custodians of the community’s way of life.

Said the President: “As government, we will collaboratively provide the necessary support to all chieftaincy structures across the country as they undertake this commendable task in collaboration with development partners,” he said.

During the event, the President and the traditional leaders signed a ‘Call To Action’ in which, among others, the chiefs committed to collaborate and communicate with the government and its partners, to ensure a climate-resilient future for the people of Malawi and generations to come.

Representing the Chiefs, Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani V said the meeting was critical as it provided a platform for the leaders to bang heads and come up with solutions to challenges affecting the people.

Gomani called for the establishment of a Chiefs Council to enable the traditional leaders to effectively implement various initiatives aimed at developing the country.

In the ‘Call To Action’ document, Chakwera and the chiefs have also pledged to fight against poaching, and illegal wildlife trade and further to monitor protected areas and guard fences from vandalism.

Earlier, Minister of Natural Resources, Michael Usi, disclosed plans to start awarding chiefs in ecosystem restoration as one way of motivating them and their subjects.

The meeting, which brought together five paramount chiefs, 137 senior chiefs and 142 traditional authorities, was held under the theme ‘Improving Governance for Effective Conservation and Restoration of Natural Resources, Sustainable Agriculture and Livelihoods in Malawi’.

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