In a statement signed by the diplomats, they said they “wish to convey our congratulations to the Government of Malawi on efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade—a crime that threatens some of Africa’s most iconic species with extinction.”
The diplomats, sailing under the hashtag # Stop Wildlife Crime—from western, US, China to African states, said under the Mutharika leadership “tremendous strides have been made to strengthen legislation, law enforcement and capacity in the courts in order to bring wildlife criminals to justice.”
“The associated successes have led to global recognition and commendation,” they said.
They reminded foreign citizens, residents and visitors of the laws of Malawi, saying it was illegal to buy, possess or attempt to export any wildlife products without a Government permit.
“Wildlife crime carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years,” they warned, and appealed:” Let us all join hands to stop wildlife crime and protect Malawi’s rich natural heritage for generations to come.”
The Stop Wildlife Crime Campaign –which seeks to reduce wildlife crime activity- took off the ground in 2014 as a partnership between Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and Lilongwe Wildlife Trust.
The illegal wildlife trade is considered the fourth most lucrative illegal activity after drugs, arms and human trafficking.
In 2016, Malawi was confirmed as southern Africa’s principal transit route for wildlife traffickers.
But since then Malawi has been delisted as one of the countries of primary concern on illegal wildlife crimes.