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PRESS RELEASE BY RIO+20 OIYP REPRESENTATIVE FROM MALAWI

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

4th June, 2012

Network For Youth Development, Association of Environmental Journalists, LEAD COHORT 17, Oxfam International Youth Partnerships, EYE FOR A GREENER MALAWI

5th June every year is World Environment Day. This is the time the whole world unites and reflects on the importance of our environment and how best to manage it.

The global commeration will take place in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro under the theme “Green Economy does it include you?”, while here at home the activities marking the day will take place in Lilongwe area 25.

United Nations Environment Program defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

It is against this background that the three groups namely: Network for Youth Development, Association for Environmental Journalist and LEAD COHORT 17 Associates and OIYP comprising 50 members with different professional backgrounds have joined forces to be part of this year’s event. Our aim is to help in humanizing environmental issues and enable everyone realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change, in support of sustainable and equitable development in Malawi.

We believe this is justifiable because over 85% of Malawi`s population works in Agriculture sector and that 95% of the country’s exports are agro-based. This implies that Malawi has no choice but to go green.

This in our strongest opinion cannot be achieved without proper multispectral coordination to support the green economic pathways for Malawi.. This is why we are calling upon the private sector, civil society, general public and governmet departmets to mainstream issues of environment in their activities to prevent the worsening environmental degradation in the country and its consequent negative effects on peoples` lives.

At the same time we would like to appreciate efforts being taken by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management, in developing the climate change policy and review of the National Adaptation Plan of Action –NAPA. However we believe the processes can be expedited for progress’s sake.

We are also aware that Malawi cannot go green without adequate and timely availability of financial resources. In this regard we call upon the Malawi Government to consider allocating more resources to the afore said new ministry.

We believe this is possible because government has already demonstrated a strong sense of political will in establishing a whole line ministry to look into environmental issues and that such issues are well slotted in the current government development blue print -MGDS.

On the other hand we ask the private sector to be pro -active to support government’s agenda by intesfiying the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) concept through the introduction and support of cheap carbon neutral technologies and advancements as it is currently recommended by international bodies’ such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Indeed we believe it’s high time the manufacturing industry took part in restoring and preserving our environment by engaging the government through all possible chances including the Public Private Partnerships-PPP.

The undersigned organizations will remain committed in exploring all possible ways through advocacy and any available means to ensure the effective greening of our economy.

“LET’S JOIN HANDS AND GREEN UP MALAWI!!”

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