Sustainable management of wetlands which provides livelihoods to Malawians will remain a far-fetched dream if statements contained in various policies are not implemented.
Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) programmes manager, Dorothy Tembo, said during a panel discussion organised in commemoration of the World Wetlands Day on Sunday that it would be of no use having a specific policy on wetlands while existing statements are being rendered redundant.
She said the wetlands will also continue to be exploited if the policies are not enforced.
“As Cepa, we analysed various policy documents to find out what they say in relation to wetlands and how they are being implemented by various agencies. The truth is Malawi has some good policy statements governing marsh management, but the challenges have been implementation of the same,” Tembo said.
She said although there is no specific policy on wetlands, Cepa would work with the available policies that relate to wetlands and environmental management in general, which have so far not been fully implemented.
Tembo added that Cepa would advocate the implementation of these policies through the engagement of responsible sectors and departments.
“We would rather look at the existing policy statements and see how to implement those,” she explained
Due to the fact that the statements are not being used, organisations dealing in the concerned sector have been working in isolation, thereby not making much headway in environmental conservation, particularly wetlands management.
World Wetlands Day was commemorated on February 2 this year under the theme Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth.