Minister Usi urges public to report wildlife crimes perpetrators
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife has urged the public to report wildlife crimes perpetrators to relevant authorities such as police or the Department of Parks and Wildlife
MALAWI: Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Dr. Michael Usi has urged the public to report wildlife crimes perpetrators to relevant authorities such as police or the Department of Parks and Wildlife, in a bid to combat wildlife crimes in the country.
The Minister made the remarks on Wednesday during a press conference on Malawi’s Public Announcement on the call for the Fourth Protocol on prevention and combating of wildlife crime which was held at Ufulu Gardens Hotel in Lilongwe, Area 43.
Usi said that wildlife crimes lead to exploitation of poor countries including Malawi hence there is a need for the public to also take part in combating the crimes by reporting the perpetrators of wildlife offenses.
“When we look at the results of wildlife crimes in general, rich countries are those that benefit, for example, perpetrators of wildlife crimes go in poor countries such as Malawi and kill elephants as well as pangolins and all the money raised after selling the products from these protected animals goes to rich countries.
“Therefore, as a Ministry we want Malawians to understand that through wildlife crimes our country is being exploited hence there is a need for them to report the perpetrators of wildlife crimes to relevant authorities if we are to deal with the issue of wildlife crimes as the country,” Usi said.
Asked on what other measures have been put in place by his Ministry to combat wildlife crimes in the country, the Minister said that they have put stiffer penalties to punish the perpetrators of wildlife offenses.
“In the past when a person has committed wildlife crime was being asked to pay a fine and a lot of people were able to pay the fines.
“But now we have put stiffer penalties such as long jail terms of about 30 years and we are warning the perpetrators of wildlife crimes to be careful as they will not just be asked to pay fines but they will serve long jail terms,” he said.
In his comment, United Nations (UN) Acting Representative to Malawi, Rudolf Schwenk said that the UN is also committed to supporting the government in combating wildlife crimes in the country.
“As the UN we are fully committed to supporting the Government of Malawi in the fight against wildlife crimes because natural resources, in particular, the wildlife is essential for the country,” said Schwenk.