In commemoration of the 2018 World Environment Day, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Malawi will join Malawi Government and other key stakeholders in a “Green Walk” procession on 9th June 2018, organised by the Association of Environmental Journalists (AEJ) in Malawi.
Held under the theme “Beating Plastic Pollution”, the Green Walk event is one of the national activities for this year’s World Environment Day aimed at raising the awareness on environmental preservation by advocating against plastic litter.
The event will include a procession from the Lilongwe Community Grounds, cleaning up of litter along the streets of Lilongwe and performances by youth groups and students from around the city.
In a written statement published in the Nation Newspaper of the 5th June 2018, the Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has urged Malawians to promote sustainable environmental management, by minimising plastic pollution and opt for alternatives such as use of baskets, paper bags, reusable thick plastics and others to make Malawi thin plastic free.
“In Malawi, plastic pollution is causing numerous health problems and serious economic losses. Open burning of plastics emits toxic substances into the environment that can cause human health problems” reads the statement by the Secretary for Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Mr. Patrick Matanda.
UNDP Deputy Representative for Programmes, Ms. Claire Medina said that there is a global waste crisis which requires that all stakeholders intensify commitment to preserve the environment.
“if we do not address the causes of the global waste crisis is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. As we commemorate this year’s World Environment Day, we therefore need to remind ourselves that we all have a stake in the protection of our planet,” said Ms. Medina.
Ms. Medina stated that despite Malawi’s waste management challenges, with increased commitment from all, there are opportunities to transform waste into economic opportunities especially for young entrepreneurs and other groups.
To intensify actions for environmental preservation, the UNDP has also launched a global campaign called “I stand for nature”, as one way to beat plastic pollution by promoting nature-based solutions as a catalyst for sustainable development.