President Peter Mutharika has said his government remains committed to provisions of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (Cites), which include a ban on any international trade in ivory.
Mutharika said this in his address to the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) which took place at the ICCF Club in New York early this week.
He told the club that visitors from around the world visit Malawi because it is renowned for its rich natural heritage characterised by national parks, beautiful lakes and mountains full of wildlife.
However, Mutharika warned that this trend is on the downturn and that within the next two decades, Africa’s most iconic species—the elephant and rhino— may be extinct due to careless poaching and wildlife trafficking.
Already, Malawi’s elephant population has halved since the 1980s and there are just a handful of rhinos left.
According to the Department of Wildlife, Malawi’s trade routes are being exploited by traffickers bringing ivory from neighbouring countries, and this, in itself, is a threat to regional elephant populations.
The ICCF meeting was also attended by President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and President Ali Ben Bongo of Gabon, among many other heads of departments of international repute.