Citizens For Justice-Malawi as part of the Natural Resources Justice Network and Publish What You Pay Malawi wrote to UNESCO because we are concerned the government is allowing oil exploration in Lake Malawi National Park. The government has still not responded to UNESCO decisions asking the government to cancel licences overlapping in the area, to create a buffer zone and ensure EIAs conducted in and around the park align with IUCN advice.
Lake Malawi is one of Malawi’s most valuable assets for tourism, jobs, food, livelihoods, transport, irrigation and water, and more. It is also home to over 1000 fish species found nowhere else in the world. Many people depend on our Lake.
We support Government’s efforts to expand its revenue base and diversify the economy but this must be done with transparency, accountability and with the full consent of people’s whose lives could be adversely affected. Government’s historical and suspected continued misuse of public finances – money collected from our taxes and businesses – does not give us much trust that any money collected from our non-renewable resources will be used wisely. Government has not been consistently proactive in communicating with the public to date on oil and gas exploration.
We joined other organisations in signing this letter, including Oxfam in Malawi, Livingstonia Church and Society Programme, ActionAid International Malawi. Many of us are also part of the Alternative Mining Indaba, WoMin- African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction and International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA) and this is part of our united civil society advocacy in ensuring our natural resources are stewarded well without corruption.
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