We believes in the equitable and sustainable use of the environment and natural resource for all Malawians in this generation and generations to come.
Malawi’s environment is under pressure from deforestation, poor waste management, climate change and variability, and non-sustainable farming methods. This is having a devastating impact on food security, safety and health.
Within the environmental justice program, CFJ places emphasis on the following critical issues affecting the environment and the socio-economic well being of Malawians:
Wildlife Crime Court Monitoring Project
This project, funded by Stop Ivory, aims to secure stiffer sentences for serious wildlife crimes by: 1) helping justice sector actors in Malawi better understand their existing capacity gaps with regards to wildlife crime cases 2) integrating investigators and prosecutors on cases; 3) providing the option for private litigation and/or the on-the-job mentoring of prosecutors by an expert private lawyer approved by the DPP; 4) placing legal advocates inside courtrooms on live cases to monitor sessions; and, 5) sensitize and use the media to raise awareness of wildlife crime court case outcomes. It is hoped that these interventions will improve prosecution rates for serious wildlife crimes and help improve transparency and reduce corruption. The overall aim is to secure stiff sentences for serious wildlife criminals to help deter elephant ivory trafficking in the country. Elephant crisis and Stop Ivory are the donors of the project for they are helping in deterring wildlife crimes in Malawi.
The partners for the project are Lilongwe Wildlife Trust who is the leading partner for the project. We are assisting along with Wilkinson and Associates and Department of Parks and Wildlife in the technical delivery of programme activities and working alongside the prosecution services. In particular, we are leading on case monitoring, analysis, reporting and management of existing court records in Malawi to help examine how existing laws are applied to wildlife crime and to inform a review of prosecution and judicial processes and other interventions needed to deter wildlife related crimes.
Climate Change Justice
Climate change is widely recognised as the major environmental problem facing the world today, which threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. The main cause of this problem is the unsustainable level of consumption, which uses large quantities of energy for production and transportation. There is need to adopt sustainable lifestyles and safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable and share the burdens of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly. Those who have benefited and still benefit from emissions in the form of ongoing economic development and increased wealth, mainly in industrialized countries, have an obligation to share benefits with those who are today suffering from the effects of these emissions, mainly vulnerable people in developing countries like Malawi. CFJ believes in the polluter pays principle and will campaign for the industrialised countries to contribute a huge chunk towards addressing climate change. People in low-income countries like Malawi must have access to opportunities to develop low-carbon growth and adapt to climate change. We
- advocate for climate change adaptation financing
- advocate for the cutting of carbon emissions at the source
- help communities mitigate the impacts of climate change by conducting awareness campaigns and educating them in alternative farming practices and water conservation strategies such as catchment protection and water harvesting
- engage in Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).
Environmental pollution remains one of the worst environmental problems in Malawi responsible for a series of health hazards. Even though this is the case, the Environmental Management Act (1996) stipulates that every citizen has a right to a clean and decent environment. CFJ therefore believes in environmental sanitation as one way of curbing this environmental ill. Particularly, CFJ is interested in promoting sound waste management and access to clean and portable water. The water system in Malawi is heavily susceptible to pollution from a wide range of industrial effluents, such as radioactive waste from uranium mining and chemicals from agricultural fields. In 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing access to clean water and sanitation as a human right. Thus when taken as a human right, the right to water places certain responsibilities upon the government to ensure that people can enjoy sufficient, safe, accessible and affordable water, without discrimination. Specifically, governments are expected to take reasonable steps to avoid a contaminated water supply and to ensure there are no water access distinctions amongst citizens.
Sustainable Natural Resources Management
CFJ subscribes to the goal of the National Environmental Policy (NEP) which focuses on the promotion of sustainable social and economic development through sound management of the environment and natural resources. While there is recognition among various stakeholders in Malawi that our economy is highly dependent on natural resources and that if these are depleted or degraded, long term food security and sustainable economic growth will be seriously affected, there is little public understanding of environment issues; many people cannot link natural resources to their economic and social welfare. Beyond the common Malawian, government officials and even the legislature reflect in their decisions limited understanding of the importance of natural resources. CFJ shall encourage various stakeholders and communities to pursue sustainable and Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM). Within this thematic area, the focus is on te sustainable utilisation of forest resources, the protection of catchment areas, and the promotion of ecological farming.