As Malawi joins the world in commemorating World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought today, Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) has said the country is not doing enough to protect forests.
In an interview yesterday, Cepa executive director William Chadza said the country’s forests are not well managed, leading to deforestation.
He said there is need for better and more effective ways to manage trees so as to battle desertification and drought.
“Deforestation is high and afforestation programmes are not very successful. We need to ensure that where there is plantation, harvesting is managed properly. There needs to be improvement in compliance so as to control forestry measures,” Chadza said.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Mining and Energy has since vowed to strengthen the forestry policy and punish anyone cutting down trees without a licence.
The ministry spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said: “Cutting down of trees affects climate change which has led to extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods.”
Phiri said government will come up with stiffer punishment for those found cutting down trees to protect the environment.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was introduced to reduce the loss of water bodies, vegetation and wildlife on the planet. n