Parliament on Thursday passed the New Forestry Amendment Act of 2019 which Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira said has a provision for issuing licences to charcoal sellers.
According to Kutsaira, the previous Forestry Act the new Forestry Amendment Act has targeted charcoal selling activities and will maintain order.
“The new Forestry Amendment Act seeks to bring sanity in charcoal selling by among other things issuing licenses to applicants upon successfully submitting a reforestation plan or a forest management plan approved by the Director of Forestry,” said Kutsaira.
He added that the previous act lacked proper guidelines on offences and regulations since it had lenient fines and penalties.
He further said that the Act has also provided proper management of forest reserves by empowering local communities and local government in forest management.
“The amended Act provides for a conducive environment for the participation of forest dependent communities and private sector in the forest management in Malawi. And again allow certain prescribed forest officers to use firearms in order to effectively conduct law enforcement activities under the Act,” said Kutsaira.
However, the new Forestry Amendment Act has aligned itself with similar pieces of legislations in the sector so that wildlife and environment in Malawi is properly and effectively protected.