Catholic Lawmakers in Malawi Urged to Help Realize “good legal framework” for Environment

The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Fr. Henry Chinkanda. Credit: ECM

Catholic lawmakers in Malawi have been urged to facilitate the realization of an appropriate legal framework for the conservation of the environment in the Southern African nation. 

In a Thursday, August 4 report following Holy Mass with Catholic lawmakers in the country, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Fr. Henry Chinkanda, is said to have emphasized the need for Members of Parliament (MPs) to take the lead in efforts toward environmental conservation. 

"There is need for good legal framework and political will which enhances environmental conservation and proper mechanism to enforce these instruments,” Fr. Chinkanda is quoted as saying, adding, "The Church and the government need to collaborate in the works of environmental conservation." 

The Malawian Priest urged Catholic lawmakers to embrace the spirit of the May 2015 Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis on the “care of our common home”, Laudato Si’

He said, “In the Spirit of Laudato Si’, let us remember that the Church and Government are collaborators in this venture; we all have the responsibility of taking care for God’s people and creation which reminds us of God’s presence." 


The ECM official said that the Southern African nation has been "adversely" affected by environmental degradation.

“We have, in recent years, experienced strange weather phenomena such as floods, dry spells, late rainy seasons, heat waves, storms and others," he has been quoted as saying, adding, "The soil is also being degraded which is worrisome to human integral development.” 

Fr. Chinkanda is said to have urged MPs in Malawi to spearhead tree planting initiatives in their respective constituencies.

“Could every Member of Parliament have a demonstration woodlot in his or her constituency? It is now time to think of initiating one,” Fr. Chinkanda told the Catholic lawmakers.

He added, “Proper care of the soil should be at the heart of every person particularly here in Malawi where we depend on land for our livelihood.” 

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The Eucharistic celebration with lawmakers that took place at the Parliament building in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, was celebrated under the theme, "Environment Impact on Integral Development". 

In the August 4 report, the Coordinator for Parliament Catholic Small Christian Community (SCCs) expressed his appreciation for Fr. Chinkala's message, saying it has "enlightened and inspired to plant trees and take care of them". 

"We will encourage the people we represent including chiefs to do the same for integral human development,” Ms. Mary Mpanga said.

The MP for Phalombe South Constituency thanked the leadership of the Catholic Church in Malawi for reaching out to Catholic politicians in various initiatives.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.