Washington, DC – April 15, 2015 – On April 22nd, the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) will host the Presidents of Gabon and Malawi at a U.S. Congressional Dinner in Washington, DC.
Guests at the Dinner will include Members of the U.S. Congress, high-level government representatives (Ministers and Parliamentarians) from nine African nations, diplomats, business leaders, leaders from the international conservation community, and celebrities.
An old friend with whom ICCF has worked closely on the Congo Forest Basin Partnership for many years, President Bongo is pioneering the integration of economic success with sustainable natural resource management. The landmark programs Gabon Vert and Gabon Bleu look to protect forests and oceans, respectively. Gabon Vert is diversifying sources of growth and sustainable development for 22 million hectares of forest, 1 million hectares of agricultural land, and 800 kilometers of coastline. The Gabon Bleu program is expanding marine protected areas to cover more than 18,000 square miles, improving enforcement of existing marine parks, and planning and enforcing more extensive no take zones.
This congressional gala dinner will introduce President Mutharika, who was elected in 2014, to the leadership of the U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus. President Mutharika is committed to preserving Malawi’s vast natural resources while developing them in a sustainable manner to grow Malawi’s economy and benefit its people. He is leading the development of a modern, comprehensive land, natural resources, and environmental policy for the country, and Malawi is collaborating with its neighbors in Southern Africa to achieve transborder conservation solutions.
Malawi is a signatory to the 2014 Arusha Declaration on Regional Conservation and Combating
Wildlife/Environmental Crime. President Mutharika will offer keynote remarks to the gala dinner guests.
In March, the foundation presented the ICCF Teddy Roosevelt® International Conservation Award to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales at a congressional gala dinner in honor of his extraordinary commitment to international conservation.
The ICCF supports the leadership of the bipartisan International Conservation Caucus (ICC) in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives – currently comprised of one-third of Congress – by educating policymakers on issues of international conservation. The ICCF is replicating its successful caucus model in parliaments and congresses around the globe, educating caucus members in African and Latin American countries on issues of international conservation; uniting the public and private sectors to work together on conservation initiatives; identifying highest-priority challenges to natural resource management as well as potential solutions; and recommending innovative, market-driven policy solutions. ICCF has established headquarters in Nairobi (ICCF Kenya) and Bogota (ICCF Colombia) to support caucuses in these countries and their surrounding regions.
In 2014, The ICCF Group brought together leading policymakers from eight African nations at a regional summit in Tanzania that resulted in the signing of The Arusha Declaration of 2014 on Regional
Conservation and Combating Wildlife/Environmental Crime, the most comprehensive regional strategy to combat wildlife/environmental crime and advance conservation in East and Southern Africa. The Arusha Declaration of 2014 articulates a specific set of actions to strengthen regional coordination and cross-border collaboration among East African and Southern African nations to combat the illegal poaching/take and trade of wildlife, timber, fish and other natural resources, and advance conservation. The ICCF Group, in coordination with regional bodies (East African Community and Southern African Development Community), will function as the secretariat to the Arusha Declaration of 2014 to facilitate regional coordination, inter-governmental policy collaboration, and support from global development partners. The ICCF Group will establish an Advisory Board to steer and oversee the implementation of the Regional Strategy. Malawi is a signatory to the Arusha Declaration of 2014.