NCCMF taskforce tasks Govt to operationalize MEPA
A multi-stakeholder taskforce on 1 Climate Change Management Fund (NCCMF) has called on government to remain committed to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management issues in the country.
The calls were made on Friday in Lilongwe when during a press briefing the taskforce held in response to the State of the 1 Address (SONA) which was presented in Parliament on 12th May, 2021.
Speaking to media, Julius Ng’oma a member of the taskforce said the SONA left out some pertinent issues in the environment and climate change sector which need urgency.
“When the President was addressing the nation during the State of 1 Address (SONA) on 12th May, 2021, he did not touch on some of the things that his government committed to do. So, we are reminding the President that in the SONA he did not focus on issues to do with enactment of Disaster Risk Management Bill which he committed that earlier this year the bill will be tabled in parliament,” said Ng’oma.
According to the taskforce, the delay to table the DRM bill means the country continues to focus on response rather than risk management as the 1991 DRM Act which is currently in use is kind of response framework.
The taskforce also noted with sadness Government’s slowness to act on climate change management financing which has been there for a good number of years.
According to Ng’oma, Government is yet to put to good use the issue of Carbon Levy as the funds are not channeled to the environment management sector.
“The 1 climate change fund was established but is not yet operational because the Government is not acting with speed to make sure that there are certain things that are supposed to be put in place so that the fund is finally operational and is supporting Malawians to do climate change initiatives with locally generated resources,” said Ng’oma.
On operationalization of Malawi Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and environmental tribunal, Ng’oma had this to say, “We understand that there some issues to be tackled for this agency to be in place. The board is there, the legal framework has been formulated but the setup is incomplete as we do not have Director General and Secretariat, but also have to make sure that this MEPA is also linked with environmental tribunal because operationalization of MEPA might also come up with challenges that the citizenry would want even the government to redress”.
During the press briefing, the taskforce also highlighted the need for investment in infrastructure that will help prevent disasters in disaster-prone areas, Government’s need to intensify ecosystem and biodiversity protection and conservation through enhanced law enforcement, prioritizing prosecution of environmental offenders, and challenged Government to revisit the implementation of the 1 Clean-Up Day.
The taskforce is made up of Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC), 1 Youth Network on Climate Change (NYNCC), Centre for Environmental Policy Advocacy (CEPA), The Association of Environmental Journalists in Malawi (AEJ), Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI), LUANAR and other stakeholders working in the environment and climate change management sector.