Malawi News Agency
Martin Chiwanda, 
January 22, 2018

NSANJE: Department of Parks and Wild Life has expressed concern over the
continued extinction of local large animal population in the Lower Shires’
Elephant Marsh to human activities.

Lower Shire Division Manager, Alick Makanjira in an interview with the
Malawi News Agency (MANA) Monday said due to increased intense pressure on
natural resources, most of the indigenous animals and plants are being
depleted at an alarming rate.

Makanjira noted in the past Elephant Marshes were a home of large animal
species such as elephants and hippos but said this is not the case in the
recent times.

“Elephant Marshes in the Lower Shire used to be home for Elephants; hence
the name, and other animals. But today, most of them have faced extinction
due to human activities such as encroachment and poaching,” observed
Makanjira.

He underscored the need for all the stakeholders to collaborate so that the
wetlands are restored and managed properly.

Meanwhile, the Division Manager hoped that through the Shire River Basin
Management Program under ‘Community-based Management of Elephant marshes
would help restore the lost glory of the geographical feature.

He said through the project, communities around the Marshes would be
trained in eco-tourism activities so that the marshes bring benefits both
to the communities and tourism industry.

Makanjira added: “This program provides technical assistance for studies on
hydrological, ecological and resource-use of the 1200 square kilometre
elephant mashes in this area. It also advocates for establishing
participatory management planning.

Last year, Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the
Ramsar Convention declared Elephant marsh an international recognized
wetland.

The Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework
for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and
sustainable use of wetlands and their resources.

Malawi became a Party to the convention in 1997.

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This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.