Kutsaira told Journalists at parliament that the provisions of the previous Forestry Act had lenient fines, penalties and no proper guidelines of offences and regulations to deter would be offenders and sufficiently punish offenders.
Among other things the New Forestry Amendment Act seeks to bring sanity in charcoal selling by among things issuing licenses to applicants upon successfully submitting a reforestation plan or a forest management plan approved by the Director of Forestry.
Also the Amended Act will be conducive for the participation of forest dependent communities and private sector in the management of forests.
It also allows certain prescribed forest officers to use firearms in order to effectively conduct law enforcement activities under the Act.
The Act aligns itself with similar pieces of legislations in the sector so that wildlife and the environment in Malawi are properly and effectively protected.