Malawi joined the rest of the world in commemorating International Mountain Day on Friday and a conservationist says mountains need to get more attention and there should be more efforts to conserve the mountains.
Chief Land Resources Conservation Officer working for Land Resources Conservation Department at Lilongwe ADD Macpherson Nthara said mountains cover a significant part of the land surface in Malawi and they also provide life supporting goods and services for millions of people, including water, food and energy at national, local and regional level.
He noted that despite their importance, mountains have received little attention in national discussions on environmental and developmental issues.
“As the World celebrates International Mountains Day (IMD) today, it is critical that the ecosystems services provided by mountains are recognized and efforts put in place to conserve them,” he said.
The day was under the theme of “Matter for Biodiversity” and the Association of Environmental Journalists in Malawi hiked Chipata Mountain in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve Malawi.
It took 1 hour 20 minutes for the media practitioners to reach at the top.
The 1,648 metre mountain has a lot natural trees and wild animals such as baboons, Elephants and snakes.
Speaking with reporters, African Parks Manager Samuel Kamoto said that biodiversity resources that are found in mountains are important because they attract tourists, researchers, hikers and among others.
Kamoto added that they also add value to the history of the country and he asked people to always protect nature.
President for Association of Environmental Journalists (AEJ) Mathews Malata said that mountains are a big asset for the country as such people in the country need to conserve them.
Malata added that people should embrace nature and asked journalists to assist in raising awareness to people with firsthand information and also package information in a way that others will be able to understand.
“Above all we should make sure that we highlight importance of mountains in building our country’s resilience, resilience requires a lot of information. We are talking about resilience building, fighting climate change by protecting natural trees that are found in our mountains,” he explained.