Ministry of Natural Resources applauds stakeholders for inculcating into young minds climate change awareness

* Your presence has made this day so blessed and so meaningful—nine-year-old Nohaviwa Levi of Montessori Private School

* It signifies the spirit of togetherness and patriotism as the saying goes ‘United We Stand; Divided we Fall’

* We are all witnessing these challenges globally — so what are we waiting for? There is need for an immediate action to be taken other than folding our hands in this hopeless time

By Duncan Mlanjira

Secretary for Ministry Natural Resources & Climate Change-Administration, Richard Perekamoyo has applauded various partners for inculcating into young school learners the awareness of effects of climate change and the efforts being done in the management of the environment.


Perekamoyo made the observation of Friday at Neno Community Sports Centre during the joint commemoration of the 2024 International Day for Biological Diversity and the 2024 World Environment Day, after the participating learners demonstrated their experiences, knowledge and mutual learning of biological resources conservation and management of the environment in general.

The event started with an awareness march from Neno Police Station to the community sports centre, joined by Perekamoyo’s delegation, police officers, primary school learners, students of Neno Girls Secondary School and various stakeholders.

The International Day for Biological Diversity falls on May 22 every year while the World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 but the two events were planned to be jointly commemorated because they are related in nature; their themes related and dates for their commemoration are closer to each other.

It was held under the theme ‘Be Part of the Plan. My Land, My Future’ — which “aims to raise understanding and awareness on the importance of biodiversity and sound environment management in maintaining ecological balance and providing essential services critical for human wellbeing and livelihoods”.

And Pelekamoyo took cognizance that the young minds are in sync with the government’s call for the nation to preserve the environment as well as its biodiversity.

He savoured the enlightening performances that the learners gave that included a special speech by nine-year-old Nohaviwa Levi of Montessori Private School, poetry and drama by Neno Girls Secondary School and performance from a group of learners under the counsel of Save the Children.


In her speech, Nohaviwa ably articulated the need for the young generation to embrace environmental conservation as she extended her “sincere gratitude” to all present, especially her fellow students.

“Your presence has made this day so blessed and so meaningful [which] signifies the spirit of togetherness and patriotism in the commemoration of this joint event — as the saying goes ‘United We Stand; Divided we Fall’.

“Our environment is very important because it supports the ecosystem and as such we should not only fill our hearts with joy but seeing the theme as a reminder of us being patriotic in sustaining and balancing the preservation of the environment for it is our responsibility given to us by God from the beginning.

“I would like to recall that the global warming has completely distributed the ecosystem. In recent years, all of us had been keen to a well supportive ecosystem due to equal balances in environmental management.

Poetry from Neno Girls Secondary School student; an environmental song by the area’s Councillor Biswas Maganga and a Beni dance performance 

“As of now, things are upside down due to adverse impacts of global warming. This has resulted in scarcity of some significant species in the environment.

“We are all witnessing these challenges globally — so what are we waiting for? There is need for an immediate action to be taken other than folding our hands in this hopeless time.

“Today’s theme has also reminded me of a famous Africa proverb that says; ‘A stitch in time saves nine’. We are not too late to hold hands together in maintaining and balancing a stable environment which may provide a supportive ecosystem.

“My fellow students, I would like to advocate for a mindset change in relation to this event. I understand that we are coming from different communities with different values, but we should see this gathering as a uniting point in purpose and that everyone should take a step forward in environmental and biodiversity preservation.

“Since we are leaders of today and of course tomorrow, we should therefore take this to our hearts positively regardless of our age, abilities as well as cross cutting factors. I hope one day we shall all come together, it may be at this place or somewhere else to celebrate with tears of joy after achieving our goals.”


She received a resounding round of applause as she concluded her inspiring speech and in his own speech, Pelekamoyo acknowledged that the performances from the young minds were indeed indicating that various stakeholders are inculcating a positive spirit calling everyone “to take action in halting and reversing biodiversity loss.

He added that this call of action on International Day for Biological Diversity, under the theme ‘Be Part of the Plan’, is supporting implementation of Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework through implementation of Malawi’s National Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan and Local Biodiversity Plans.

“The World Environment Day, on the other hand, is being commemorated under the theme ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience’, which calls upon everyone of us to take action in restoring degraded landscapes to prevent desertification and enhance resilience to drought, among others.

“Restoring, protecting and well management of our land is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly those on climate change, poverty eradication, food security, water and biodiversity conservation.

“This is in line with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030). In our country, the theme is celebrated under the slogan ‘Our Land Our Future’ (Dziko Lathu, Tsogolo Lathu) and 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nation’s Convention to Combat Desertification.”


Pelekamoyo further said the joint event “serves as a platform for rallying political, moral and financial commitments at all levels to address contemporary challenges of deteriorating environment as manifested in loss of biological diversity, pollution and climate change referred to as the three-crisis facing the world today”.

“Government recognises the critical role that the environment and natural resources play in sustainable economic growth as we strive to achieve an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation in the medium to long term.

“Natural resources are the vital assets which drive the development and create the wealth through their contribution to government revenue, income for our communities and health for all people.”

He added that recent reports indicate that billions of hectares of land are degraded, affecting almost half of the world’s population and threatening the world’s economy including Malawi.

“For example, up to 60% of Malawi’s land is currently affected by soil erosion and nutrient loss, and Malawi loses around 29 tons of soil per hectare per year.

“I, therefore, call upon the private sector, development partners and all sectors in government to take an active role in implementation of land restoration initiatives to contribute to reversing the current loss of biodiversity and land degradation which in turn will mitigate climate change impacts and assist in building a resilient society and ensure a sustainable future for all.”

Group Village Headman Donda

The areas Group Village Headman Donda also took cognizance that from the pavilions that were on display, the poetry recitals and drama by the learners impressed him on one point of focus — that the degradation of the environment is contributing to low harvests due to inadequate rainfall.

He confessed that together, people of Neno have depleted the environment and gave an example of the area’s Kirk Range mountain, pointing at it and saying: “The Kirk Range was once beautifully covered with trees — but look at it now, it’s slowly becoming bare of trees.

“The forestry authorities have tried to stop us from encroaching the Kirk Range but we still do it. Let us join hands to protect the environment as you saw from the pavilions how we can make good use of the environment to enhance our agricultural activities.”

The pavilions displayed various ways of agribusiness such as bee keeping for honey production, smart winter cropping, locally made energy saving cooking systems, manure production, Save the Children’s creation of environment & climate change smart generation — among several others.

The event created a platform for rallying political, moral and financial commitments at all levels to address contemporary challenges of deteriorating biological diversity — mostly arising from unsustainable use and low participation in management efforts thereof.

It had a special emphasis on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience. And supporting the event were the Ministry’s partners that included African Parks, Shire Valley Transformation Programme, Save the Children and the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Network (PELUM), who contributed financial resources towards the success of the event.