With national tree planting season launched in December, 2018 by His Excellency President Arthur Peter Mutharika, everyday trees are being planted and they will continue to be planted for the next three months.
As a nation the target is to plant over 60 million trees by April 2019. Malawi Lake Basin Consortium has in the past four years been joining hands with the Forestry Department in strengthening Village Natural Resources Management Committees (VNRMCs) who are coordinating afforestation and natural forest regeneration programmes at village level.
This year the consortium under Malawi Lake Basin Programme plans to plant one million trees.
In line with this year’s theme; Plant and Manage Trees: Secure Water, Food and Environment, MLBP is promoting proper management of trees after planting.
We Effect Country Representative Sanne Chipeta who is also MLBP Programme Director observed that deforestation remains one of the challenges Malawi is facing and that there is need to protect the planted trees in order to improve the trees survival rate.
She said this in Salima when MLBP launched the tree planting season in the district.
Currently only 60 percent of the planted trees survive.
“I have observed that trees are being cut wantonly at an alarming rate. I sometimes wonder as to what will happen in 10 years from now if the trees that are being cut are not adequately replaced and well managed,” Chipeta said.
The MLBP is promoting planting and proper management of the trees. In addition, the programme promotes conservation of natural trees through natural regeneration.
“We recognize the contribution of trees and forests in terms of provision of forest products and services such as firewood, construction poles, medicinal products, mushrooms, removing harmful gases i.e. carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that has been causing global warming, controlling flush floods and land degradation.
“We are joining hands with the Forestry Department in strengthening Village Natural Resources Management Committees (VNRMCs) who are coordinating afforestation and natural forest regeneration programmes at village level,” she said.
Every year, MLBP target is to plant 1,000,000 plus each year which means in the 5 years of its implementation, the programme has facilitated the planting of about 5,000,000 trees in Salima district, as well as in Mangochi district.
Apart from tree planting, the programme is working with Agri Dev Feed the Future to promote the growing of bamboo. So far, the exercise has started in Mangochi district where 12, 000 trees have been planted.