Malawi has completed its national ivory inventory and has confirmed its intention to destroy the ivory stockpile as part of an ongoing programme to protect its elephants and stop the illegal ivory trade.
This promise coincides with Minister Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa’s announcement of the development of Malawi’s 10-year National Elephant Action Plan.
RSPCA, Stop Ivory and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in Malawi are partnering to deliver a range of actions under this plan. These include training park rangers in monitoring and protection; working with police and prosecutors to ensure all poachers and wildlife traffickers are investigated and prosecuted; and working with local communities to address human elephant conflict and develop sustainable livelihoods.
“The ivory trade is driving the killing of our elephants. Armed criminal gangs pose a real and immediate threat to our rangers and the communities that live near protected areas,” said Director of National Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa. “Malawi values its elephants, which are the bedrock of sustainable development through tourism.”
“On this World Wildlife Day, Malawi has much to celebrate regarding its efforts to combat wildlife crime and RSPCA and Stop Ivory will continue to work closely with the Malawi government to support their ambitious plans for 2015 to ensure a long-term future for elephants and other wildlife.” Said Donnamarie O’Connell, Senior Policy and Programmes Advisor for RSPCA.
“These actions demonstrate Malawi’s commitment to tackling illegal wildlife crime and the value it places on its elephants.” said Alexander Rhodes, Chief Executive of UK charity Stop Ivory.
“Malawi has long been a soft target for ivory traffickers. Tightening controls and the destruction of ivory stocks sends a zero tolerance message following Malawi’s seizure of 2 tonnes of ivory in 2013, for which two men stand trial later this month. Stop Ivory is delighted to be working with RSPCA to provide financial and technical support to Malawi, including for the development of its National Elephant Action Plan in line with the Elephant Protection Initiative”.