Department of Environmental Affairs has appealed to Lilongwe-based journalists to work with the department on environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity to improve citizens understanding of the issues.
Director of Environmental Affairs, Taonga Mbale Luka, said this on Friday at Lumbadzi in Lilongwe during a meeting between her department and the journalists from both print and electronic media houses.
She said the department relies on journalists to raise awareness on different issues, including the Environmental Management Bill which is expected to be tabled to Parliament soon.
Mbale Luka said: “We want to raise awareness on climate change, biodiversity conservation action plan and the Environmental Management Bill. Therefore, we urge journalists to work with the department by disseminating environmental information so that citizens are aware of the Department’s efforts.
“The bill we are working on will propose establishment of an environmental protection unit. This unit will be a semi-autonomous institution which will regulate management of environmental issues. We rely on the media to interpret this bill to the general public once it is presented to parliament.”
A journalist from Radio Maria Malawi, Paul Dickson, who attended the meeting hailed the department for offering to work with journalists, saying most of the lack adequate information on environmental issues.
“As journalists, we rely on experts for information about environment. However, sometimes we hardly understand what these experts are talking about. Therefore, the presentations which have been made during this meeting have helped us to understand many environmental concepts and policies. This gives us confidence to write and report on more stories about the environment,” said Dickson.
Mbale Luka said the department will keep on engaging journalists across Malawi to keep them updated on emerging issues about environment.