President Mutharika launches video clip against poaching and illegal wildlife trade

I am delighted to be here this morning to launch the Video Clip on combating wildlife crimes. I believe that protection of wildlife needs to be a priority for my Government. We know the stakes if we do not do so: We will lose the wildlife species and biodiversity, and also lose opportunities for economic development through tourism and the associated impacts on agriculture and human health.

This is why, ladies and gentlemen, when l was requested to feature in this Video Clip on combating wildlife crime, l did not hesitate but took the opportunity.

It is clear from this Video Clip, that if we cannot save one of Africa’s most iconic species from extinction, then what hope do we have for the rest of our wildlife?

Whilst we are focusing on elephants and the illegal ivory trade today, let us remember that our own survival as humankind is based on our ability to protect our natural heritage. That is protecting everything from the most majestic of animals such as elephants and rhinos, through to the forests, birds and insects. The future of wildlife is in our hands, and indeed our own future depends on it too.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa and a peaceful nation, and it is not acceptable for criminals such as those involved in illegal wildlife trade to operate within our borders. Our natural resources will not be plundered for the profit of the few.

The video that l have just launched today reflects the message we are sending out to all wildlife criminals.

I urge all media houses here today to help spread this message and share the video wherever you can. I call on all citizens to say no to illegal ivory trade and report any suspicious activity.

To echo what the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has just said, my government is working hard to combat wildlife crime. We are adapting to the growing threat by strengthening laws, improving our law enforcement and increasing our inter-agency and cross-border cooperation, among so many other strategies.

Thank you to all the Diplomatic Missions and Lilongwe Wildlife Trust for your work in driving forward this initiative.

This is our shared planet. Wildlife and forest crime is our shared obligation. Protecting these animals is not a sentimental wish but an economic, social and environmental responsibility.

I, therefore, call upon all Malawians to be vigilant and work together to stop the plunder of our God given natural heritage.

With these remarks, I declare the video clip on poaching and illegal wildlife trade officially launched

I thank you all and May God Bless Malawi

Source: Malawi News Agency