Training Equips Community Policing Forum Members in Nsanje to Combat Wildlife Crimes
Authorities Highlight the Crucial Role of Community Policing in Wildlife Conservation
Nsanje, Malawi- The Department of Parks and Wildlife has emphasized the essential role played by the Community Policing Forum in the conservation and protection of wildlife and forest reserves, writes Cornelius Lupenga.
During a day-long joint training on Combating Wildlife-Community Policing Forum held in Bangula, Nsanje, Deputy Director of Parks and Wildlife Responsible for Wildlife Management and Utilization, Davis Kalima, highlighted the importance of equipping forum members with knowledge of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
The training aimed to enhance the understanding of Community Policing Forum members regarding the Parks and Wildlife Act, bringing them closer to the Department of Parks and Wildlife, where they will operate with a solid understanding of the legislation.
Kalima noted that prior to the training, members of the forum were unaware of wildlife crimes being committed within their communities.
"The community policing forum members were not aware of the wildlife crimes which the communities were committing in the society," Kalima stated.
He further emphasized that the involvement of the community policing forum would fill the gaps that previously existed in addressing wildlife crimes.
Dr. Joseph Mutupha, Officer-In-Charge of Nsanje Police Station, concurred with the sentiments expressed by the deputy director, acknowledging that community policing forum members had previously focused on crimes such as theft and burglary, neglecting the wildlife act.
Dr. Mutupha commended the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Forestry for incorporating community policing forum members in wildlife and forestry conservation efforts.
"The workshop has imparted knowledge and empowered the community policing forum to act on wildlife crimes within their localities," Dr. Mutupha remarked.
Yohane Stephano, a participant from the area of Senior Chief Tengani, expressed gratitude for the training, stating that it had established a connection between the community policing forum and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, as well as the Department of Forestry, in wildlife conservation efforts.
The day-long workshop brought together participants from the Community Policing Forum members representing the areas of Senior Chief Tengani and Traditional Authority Mbenje in Nsanje district.
The Combating Wildlife-Community Policing Forum training received support from the Shire Valley Transformation Programme (SVTP).