As the country gears up for World Environment Day (WED) which falls on June 5 annually, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have drummed up support for all actions leading to restoration of the ecosystem.
The CSOs working in the environmental sector who are members of the Co-ordination Unit for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (CURE) believe the country should take bold decisions to reset the current poor state of the environment.
Speaking on Wednesday, June 2, during a press briefing in Blantyre, Gloria Majiga Kamoto, Programme Manager for Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) said one of the environmental injustices destroying ecosystems in the country is continuous production, distribution and sale of single-use plastics that are quite a menace.
“When we think of one of the key problems that we have within our immediate environment is the introduction of single-use plastics. We see them in the rivers and fields. Almost everywhere we see these thin plastics littered around.
“Now in line with this year’s World Environment Day theme of restoring the environment to its pristine state, we are now advocating that those people who introduced the thin plastics into the environment should take responsibility to remove them (polluter pay principle). We should all take a proactive role in our decisions and consumer patterns that we don’t introduce thin plastics in the ecosystem,” said Kamoto.
On his part, Kondwani Chamwala from Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust (MMCT) said the theme for this year’s WED augurs well with the work of MMCT. Chamwala said his organisation is on a reforestation drive of Mount Mulanje. He said the mountain is a tourist destination and a source of vast natural resources hence the need for enhancing its conservation.
Reginald Mumba, Executive Director for CURE highlighted during the presser that from 2021-2030 it will be a decade of Ecosystem Restoration. The initiative is being championed by the United Nations and will see close to 350 million hectares of land being restored with vegetative cover.
“If we restore the environment by planting and caring of trees in all designated areas, we are assured of an ecosystem that provides key resources for our survival such as water and food in terms of fish from lake Malawi and other lakes in the country.
“The fishing industry as we all know provides economic opportunities to a good percentage of our population. We as environmental CSOs have all the reasons to believe that attainment of Malawi 2063 starts with restoring the ecosystems,” said Mumba.
During this year’s commemoration which will be held on Saturday in Mulanje, the CSOs have organised several activities including bicycle cycling from Blantyre to Mulanje via Thyolo, clean-up of wastes in major markets along the way and a symbolic tree planting in the district.
The commemoration will be held under the theme: ‘Ecosystem Restoration.