DOWA-(MaraviPost)-The country’s Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC) on Thursday supported the introduction of an independent environmental and climate change state executing agency to invigorate legal framework implementation.
This comes amid serious challenges Climate change continues to pose both locally and globally while policies and laws are in place.
Therefore, environmental and climate change agency will envision legal frame work implementation coupled with powers to impose sanctions to those deemed to pose threats to the environment.
This comes as Malawi is a signatory to several regional and international instruments, conventions and agreements on development, agriculture and climate change viz; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), Paris Agreement among others.
These instruments inform many of the policy frameworks that the country develops and adopts such as the Malawi Development Goals (MDGs), National Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) and National Climate Change Management (NCCM) and National Agriculture Policies (NAP).
But the despite such prospects, the practicality of it does not automatically benefit the country’s most vulnerable who are at receiving end of the impacts of such agreements.
Following a cross analysis of the NCCM and NDRM policies it is revealed that there’s a disjoint in knowledge between the policies holders and implementers.
There shows to be a lack of knowledge on the content of the instruments and policies; and lack of capacity to engage the agreements and policies among local communities and duty bearers especially at local and national level.
The situation nullifies the existence of the established policy guidelines and intended programmes, which further exposes the vulnerable groups: the poor farmers, women, children and the disabled, who are a majority of Malawi’s population to the impacts of climate change and climate hazards.
With financial support from Irish Aid through Trocaire under the Resource Rights, CISONECC is into two-day workshop at Mponera in Dowa to contribute to remedying the situation.
The conference which has drawn participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), government agencies, traditional leaders, media aims at building capacity on them on both international and national resilience building policies in operation in the country.
CISONECC National Coordinator Julius Ng’oma told The Maravi Post that independent environmental and climate executing agency will help the country to meet international and local instruments in protecting the nature.
Ng’oma added that such a body will be accountable to the people of Malawi on any environmental damage for restoration.
He therefore said there was a need for capacity building for stakeholders in the environmental and climate sectors to appreciate local and international legal instruments before the coming in of the agency hence the workshop.
“Our country neighbors including Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe even Kenya have sorely independent environmental and climate change executing agencies whose mandate to invigorate legal frameworks couple with sanctions. We support the coming in of the body for better of our environment and addressing effects of climate change,” says Ng’oma.
Envans Njerwa, Chief Environmental Officer, in the ministry of natural resources, energy and mining supported the introduction of the agency saying Malawi will be at par with the global village on the pace of managing environment and climate change.
Echoing on the same, Samuel Gama, Mitigation officer in DoDMA says the department is currently engaging city councils on formulation of by-law to govern risk disaster management amid environmental degradation and effects of climate change.