Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change has partnered with Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) in developing national guidelines for protected areas under a Management Effectiveness Assessment Project.
Speaking on Tuesday in Salima District during a consultative meeting with stakeholders that deal in wildlife protection, Coordinator for the project, Dr Tiwonge Mzumara-Gama, explained the necessity of coming up with the guidelines to ensure that all protected areas, both public and private, operate in unison.
“We are setting these guidelines for the protected areas to be able to measure their effectiveness and how to manage them well.
“Not all parks are of good standards as they are supposed to be; the project will push the management to claim proper standards as required,” explained Mzumara Gama who is also lecturer at Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).
The project, sponsored by Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA), aims at providing useful guidelines that will give directions to all protected areas in the country to assess their strength and weaknesses, and how they can help each other to attain the best level.
“These guidelines will also be used to meet cultural and natural values of these areas including their surroundings. The parks have to be healthy in all aspects to achieve sustainability and for productivity,” she added.
Deputy Director in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, William Gola, assured the public on the importance of the guidelines, saying they will bring sanity to national parks and wildlife reserves in the country.
“At first, it was difficult to come up with proper scope on operations of the protected areas because we had different mechanisms that were followed.
“The creation of these guidelines will provide elements that have to be followed by all park managers to have a standardized format each protected area has to follow when conducting assessment for long comparable results,” said Gola.
The project targets national parks and wildlife reserves in the country that are under the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
The 12-month project will use Management-Tracking Tool and Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool to ensure maximum protection of these areas.