Restoring Malawi’s Degraded and Deforested Landscapes
By Steve Makungwa, Japhet Mchakulu, Patricia Ngwale (abridged for IUFRO News 6, 2021)
On 21 May 2021, a chapter of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLFx) was launched with a commitment to restoring 4.5 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands across Malawi by 2030.
The launch was attended by government officials, academics and civil society officials interested in forestry and landscape restoration. Among the dignitaries who attended the launch was the Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Hon. Nancy Tembo (see photo), and the king of the Maseko Ngoni, His Majesty Inkosi ya makosi Gomani V. In her keynote address, Tembo noted that Malawi has recently suffered unprecedented degradation of land and forests due to unplanned conversion of forestland to cultivated farmlands, poor farming practices, charcoal production and firewood.
“Nearly 8 million hectares, or roughly 80% of Malawi’s land area stand to be restored. Malawi has set aside 4.5 million hectares to be restored by 2030. To achieve this restoration target requires action by everyone, at every level, from grassroots to political decision-makers”.
“This nationwide loss in forest cover is currently estimated at 30, 000 hectares per year. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every Malawian to halt this degradation and deforested landscapes across landscapes in the country,” Tembo said.
Tembo further noted that the above situation threatens food security, economic growth, and hydropower generation due to siltation in rivers and lakes. She said that the government of Malawi supports forest landscapes restoration as it is the most promising solution to land degradation. In this respect, the minister affirmed the government of Malawi’s support for the newly launched GLFx Chapter in Malawi.
The Malawi GLFx Chapter is an initiative of the Centre for Applied Systems Analysis (CASA), a local knowledge Centre in Malawi, and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). The Chapter is part of the GLFx – a new digital platform for the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) community.
“Successful landscape restoration implementation leading to lasting improvement in ecosystem function and socio-economic benefits to society largely depends on the knowledge and skills of all involved stakeholders of the restoration action”
The new chapter will collaborate with IUFRO and other international chapters of GLFx through active engagement and sharing of ideas to ensure that forests are effectively restored, conserved, and employed to help secure sustainable livelihoods and ecological functionality of Malawi’s landscapes.
Find out more: https://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/netw/glfxmalawi/
For a video of the launch, visit: https://www.globallandscapesforum.org/video/glfx-lilongwe-launch-restoring-malawis-degraded-and-deforested-land/
To register and join the community, or learn more about the Chapter, please visit:
https://glfx.globallandscapesforum.org/topics/22120/feed or send an email to info(at)casamw.org