LILONGWE, Malawi 02th December, 2021 (AEJ) – Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hon Nancy Tembo on Wednesday interfaced with members of parliament in Lilongwe to review progress on the constituency tree planting and update them on the National Forestry Season soon be launched.
Tembo underscored parliamentarians’ role to be present in all forestry related activities aimed at restoration in their areas. She challenged them, if they not involved, they must ask why are they not being involved.
She then briefed fellow parliamentarian that she was in Marseille, France in September where with support from IUCN conversation have commenced to write off debts in developing countries so that proceeds go towards restoration projects.
The burden on developing countries is enormous. We are hoping the written-off debts can be channeled to developing countries to help in ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation, she told the members present.
“Last year National Forestry Season was a success. This year we hope members of parliament can help sensitize the public on the same in order to make the event successful as well,” Tembo explained while flanked by Werani Chilenga and Madalitso Kazombo, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
Director of Forestry, Clement Chilima explained that the survival rate of trees planted by sampling was estimated at 67 percent, while on average the range was between 40 – 90 percent.
Director of Environmental Affairs, Tawonga Mbale Luka appraised the legislators on the revised Malawi Nationally Determined Contibutions which requires US$46 billion to implement in both adaptation and mitigation measures. She urged members to support the NDC by weighing in on the financing mechanism aspect.
Taking her turn, IUCN representative Tangu Tumeo highlighted on a restoration movement for climate resilience as part of the Bonn Challenge Initiative to address degraded areas. Malawi is targeting to plant 4.5million hectares of under this initiative.
However, during plenary session Salima North parliamentarian Enock Phale, questioned why there is a sudden reduction in the number of species trees to be planted this season from 60 million to slightly above half of 40 million during the 2021/22 National Forestry Season.
Mangochi Central parliamentarian Victoria Kingston queried why studies on soils chemistry are not done to determine what species best suit particular locations. She added that most species of trees are brought to their areas, yet they are incompatible with the local area soil resulting in sometime sucking all the water underground.
Another parliamentarian lamented that councils were unable to procure seedlings from young people in their area. Something that raised eyebrows on corrupt practices among council staff.
In her response Tembo explained that they plan to concentrate on management of trees this years. She was added that Forestry Research Institute of Malawi has the capability to do research, however funding woes have been a limiting factor.
He urged the MPs to lobby support to the sector during budget sessions to enable them recruit more staff to help in management of the forest reserves.
On corrupt practices, Chilima promised to take up and investigate the allegations among his staff.
The platform was organized by Departments of Forestry, Environmental Affairs Department and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) through the Alliance for Restoration of Forest Ecosystems in Africa (AREECA) which is aimed at promoting the upscaling of forest landscape restoration in Malawi.
IUCN is a membership-based union composed of both government and civil society organizations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 member organizations and the input of more than 18,000 experts.