MEET Vice Board Chairperson, Lyson Kapira made the call in Mulanje where they staged a number of activities in commemoration of the World Environment Day (WED), which falls on 5th June.
The theme for this year 'Ecosystem Restoration: A Rallying Call for The Protection and Revival of Ecosystems Around the World'.
The theme calls on people to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.
Activities included a 78 kilometre "Pedaling for Conservation Cycling event from Blantyre to Mulanje, which was sponsored by MyBucks Bank and attracted about 50 amateur and professional cyclers.
The WED was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 for nations to think about their environment.
“The WED celebrations seek to give a human face to environmental issues and empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development.
"It promotes an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues," Kapira said.
He further said the day also aims at raising awareness and advocating for partnerships to ensure that all nations and people enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.
The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 shows that biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, and the pressures driving the decline are intensifying.
In Malawi, important landscapes and ecosystems, such as Dzalanyama Forest Reserve, Zomba Mountain, Mulanje Mountain, Michiru Mountain, Kaning’inina Forest Reserve in Mzuzu, Lake Malawi, Shire River and Lake Chirwa are continuously being degraded resulting in a disruption to essential ecosystem services that these landscapes provide for human well-being.
It is also estimated that approximately 1.4 million cubic metres of wood, equivalent to 15,000 hectares of trees, are cut per year to produce 6.08 million standard bags of charcoal in the major cities of Malawi.
Kapira, therefore, called for concerted efforts to reverse the situation, saying this could help end poverty, combat climate change and prevent a mass extinction of species.
"Malawi has subscribed to the Bonn Challenge, a global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.
"As a country, a total of 4,500,000 hectares have been pledged for restoration and the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy provides a conducive and supportive framework to achieve this.
"However, transformative change will only be achieved through an unprecedented degree of collaboration and engagement of various levels of society" he said.
In his remarks, MyBucks Brand and Public Relations Manager, Tidzi Chalamba said bank is committed to supporting noble causes aimed at raising awareness on key issues of environmental restoration and conservation.
"We would want to make a positive social impact in Malawi through the products and services we offer and also through partnering and sponsoring noble causes and initiatives like this one.
"From the statistics presented by MEET on the state of our environment, it’s an undeniable fact that we all need to collaborate and act swiftly to restore and conserve our environment for the benefit of all Malawians. We therefore call upon all Malawians to take time and reimagine, recreate and restore our ecosystem going forward,” Chalamba said.