Government in partnership with the project of the Conservation and Sustainable Management of the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve (Cosma-DFR) Tuesday took a cost benefit analysis in Lilongwe ahead of 2019 tree planting season by reflecting on investments made and survival rate of species of trees planted.
This was done during the Forest and Tree Management Seminar attended by the private sector, non-governmental organisations, community-based groups to reflect on forest restoration efforts and emerging challenges in the sector.
Director of Forestry, Clement Chilima said time has come for the citizenry including the private sector to realise that management of forest areas is not the responsibility of forestry alone.
He said the public, private sector and communities all have a duty to ensure that forest resources are utilised in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the nation and future generations.
Said Chilima: “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 on how best we can embark on this noble task together.”
He said government has pledged to the Bonn Challenge, to plant trees and restore 4.5 million hectares of land as a response to a nationwide assessment that identified forest loss, decreasing land productivity and soil fertility, poor water catchment management and a decreasing ability as problems for farmers and other households to deal with climate change impacts.
Charles Gondwe from Forestry Department, who is chairperson of communication working group under the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) supported Conservation for Sustainable Management of Dzalanyama Reserve (Cosma-DFR) told stakeholders that government has launched the tree survival campaign as part of monitoring investments made during the national forestry season.
“This is an initiative aimed at lobbying all stakeholders who take part in tree planting to engage in management activities of trees and existing forests. The initiative also included assessments to establish how many trees have survived after planting,” Gondwe explained as part of awareness raising.
On his part, education officer at the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust Chimwemwe Mtika, suggested it is high time that the name “Tree Planting” be changed to “Tree Parenting” so that trees are taken care even after planting and ensure that they grow and survive
Jica expert on communication and environmental education Takei Saori pointed out that it is possible to restore forest cover in the country, adding that in Japan they had a similar problem but after 65 years the environment has been restored.