By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza

Finance minister Simplex Chithyola Banda, says that Malawi is committed to continue allocating resources towards the biodiversity sector for social economic development of the country.

The minister made the pledge in Blantyre on Wednesday during the opening of the three-day 10th regional dialogue on Biodiversity initiative (BIOFIN).

Banda said the government has realized that the biodiversity sector has a potential in generating forex as it is a non-taxable area.

“This year the government has tagged biodiversity in the national budget to ensure our commitment to promote the sector. This sector plays a crucial role in environmental sustainability, human well-being and global development goals attainment,” he said.

Banda said effective mobilization and allocation of resources for biodiversity conservation necessitate collaborative effort from governments, the private sector, NGOs and the communities.

On the other hand, the finance minister said the country needed to be cautious of investors who would abuse the countries resources in the pretex of conserving the biodiversity.

“They come into our country as good investors but they would plunder our resources and leave us poor. Therefore, there must be tangible agreements for equitable and fair distribution of resources,” he said.

On his part, the minister of natural resources and climate change Micheal Usi called for swift and decisive actions to prioritize biodiversity conservation in the national budget and demonstrate the country’s commitment to preserving the rich biodiversity for sustainable economic development.

Usi said while considering the importance of biodiversity in the social and economic development, it was sad to note that the biodiversity expenditure is the smallest in the total budget in most countries yet financial needs assessments revealed that millions of dollars we’re needed to manage biodiversity specific goals effectively.

“We need this initiative to transform the people in the communities and restore the wildlife and ecosystems in the country as the results of the adequate financing of the biodiversity sector,” he said.

The dialogue that has attracted participants from 18 African countries that are implementing BIOFIN initiative is being facilitated by the United Development Program ( UNDP).

According to UNDP, Malawi joined the biodiversity finance initiative (BIOFIN) in 2019.

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