Yesterday, I was honoured to deliver a keynote address at the second edition of the 2015 Congressional International Conservation Gala (ICCG) held at the Hart Senate Building in Washington DC.
The gala was in honour of me and my Gabonese counterpart for our role in signing the 2014 Arusha Declaration on Regional Conservation and Combating Wildlife/Environmental Crime.
It was so humbling to be accorded such a rare opportunity to share my thoughts on this important topic of conservation to the guests at the event which included Members of the U.S. Congress, high-level government representatives (Ministers) from nine African nations, diplomats, business captains, leaders from the international conservation community and celebrities.
I shared with the world how the worst floods of January 2015 devastated our country and the measures we have put in place as government to carefully preserve our natural resources.
During the gala, I also accepted the challenge to lead other African countries through the existing mechanisms in the fight against the depletion of natural resources and wildlife crime for sustainable development.
I also seized the opportunity to lobby for support from the international community to support our conservation programs especially on educating the nation on the value of conserving our resources to achieve our national development goals.
Thereafter, Dr. Naoko Ishii, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility disclosed that the organisation will in June this year approve funding of about $100 million which will be used to help fight against wildlife crime in Malawi and other African countries.