The Poverty and Environment Action (PEA) project in Malawi in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Planning, Development and Public Sector Reform, Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) and the Coordinated Union for Rehabilitation of Environment (CURE), held Civil Society Forum titled “Working Together Towards a cleaner and green Malawi”, on the 18th of December 2020 at Hippo View Lodge in Liwonde. The forum sought to enhance the civil society participation in the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources of the country through the promotion of policy coherence and advocacy to leverage poverty reduction and food security in an inclusive manner
The specific objectives of the forum included:
- Updating stakeholders on key emerging environmental policy processes as well as initiatives and further discussion opportunities for action that can be drawn from the policies and initiatives.
- Highlight the need for mobilizing and catalysing investments from both the public and private sectors to enhance sustainable Environment and Natural Resources Management (ENRM) in the core sectors of the economy, particularly in the agricultural sector
- Developing a framework for sustaining stakeholders dialogue and strengthening collaboration in the implementation of Environment and Natural Resources Management (ENRM)in Malawi.
In addition, the forum provided a platform where our stakeholders and PEA Implementation partners discussed Poverty Environment issues, including study reports and emerging policy recommendations with the aim of influencing the inclusion of PEA issues into future policy formulation and implementation thus contributing to the attainment of the SDGs in the country.
The forum was attended by over 45 participants drawn from 14 Non-Governmental Organizations, 4 Community Based Organizations, 8 Faith based Organizations, 8 Government Ministries Departments and Agencies, 4 Private sector institutions and 5 media institution.
The discussion started with presentations from by Environmental Affairs Department, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Department of Forestry, CEPA, and Plastic Manufacturers. The presentations focused on Rolling Out the National Waste Management Strategy, Stakeholder Roles in Environment and Natural Resource Management, and final presentations and updates on key environmental policy and processes.
The key outcomes and plan of action from the forum, included the following recommendations:
- Expedite enforcement of the single use plastics ban based on the gazetted regulations.
- Introduce additional tax regime on harmful plastic products to deter single use plastic production and use and to pave way for more sustainable options at a reasonable price.
- Expedite the setting up of the Malawi Environment Protection Agency (MEPA) to align with the legal framework in the Environment and Natural Resource Management (ENRM) sector.
- Develop a framework for allocation and utilization of the carbon levy needs to be clearly defined to ensure proper use of the resources. For example, setting up a National Climate Fund.
- Upscaling awareness activities on the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) to facilitate buy in.
- Expedite the decentralization of ENRM to facilitate compliance monitoring and enforcement of the existing policy and legal framework.
- Scale up the dissemination of the main findings of the PEA studies and influence the district development Plans in mainstreaming issues of sustainable use and management of the country’s natural resources at the village and community levels
Local video interview: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dHzvuNleLjBapTCUKxqHh8QmXj81gygi/view
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