The Department of Forestry has urged Lilongwe-based firms to take an active role in the management and conservation of forests, especially Dzalanyama, which is the source of water for the city.
Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining director of forestry Clement Chilima said this on Wednesday during the Forest and Tree Management Seminar in Lilongwe attended by the private sector, non-governmental organisations, social and community-based groups and the academia to reflect on forest restoration efforts and the emerging challenges.
He said time has come for the private sector to realise that management of forests is not the responsibility of the Forestry Department alone.
“We are willing to partner with the private sector in the management of forest resources in the country. Our doors are open to those willing to come and discuss with us as a department how best we can embark on this noble task together,” said Chilima.
Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is supporting the project for conservation and sustainable management of Dzalanyama Forest Reserve.
So far, only Zamm Investments, which produces bottled water, is paying back to conservation through eco-labelling.
The firm retains a percentage from each bottled water sold to help in the management of Dzalanyama Forest Reserve.
Others have been urged to emulate Zamm’s example to restore the reserve.