By Chisomo Phiri

On 22nd of April, 2021 Malawi joined the international Community in commemorating the 50th Anniversary of World Earth Day.

Earth Day is the annual event dedicated to raise awareness about the various environmental challenges that face our planet, earth.

During the commemoration, the Minister of Forestry Hon. Nancy Tembo hailed community members under Traditional Authority (TA) Mazengera in Lilongwe for restoring various areas of degraded forest in their area.

The community with the support from World Vision Malawi managed to restore 54 hectares of Chilenje Hill near Nkhoma Trading Centre in the district.

According to Mr. Kumbukani Msofi who is Forest Extension Officer for the area, through Farmer Managed Regeneration (FMNR) intervention, the community targets to restore 354 hectares of the hill.

“We want to restore our Chilenje Hill and make it look green and beautiful. Our target is to restore 354 hectares but as of now we have managed to restore 54 hectares and remaining with 300 hectares so as to make our target fulfilled. What we all need is a support of tree of various spices so as to make the target reached”, Said Msofi.

So far, World Vision Malawi has managed to reach 20, 000 farmer households with sustainable forest management intervention across the country.

Making his remarks while briefing the Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo  after touring  Naturally managed site being supported by World Vision Malawi under Village Headman Ngulube, Traditional Authority ( TA) Mazengera, the organization’s Director of Operations, Charles Chimombo said over 10, 000 hectares of degraded forest areas have already been restored through farmers.

“As an organization we have managed to reach out 20,000 farmer households with sustainable forest management interventions across the country and out of these, over 10, 000 hectares of degraded forest areas have already been restored through farmers. We hope to reach the 20, 000 soon as by now the half has been reached”, Said Chimombo.

Chimombo since then recommended intensification of Natural regeneration as a tool to quick and sustainable forest restoration and management in the country.

In her remarks, Tembo called for more stakeholder involvement in the management of natural resources in the country. She said various stakeholders including the corporate have a great role to play by promoting sustainable natural resource management.

“It is encouraging to see rapid restoration of previously degraded hills through off-farm FMNR approaches.

These approaches help in achieving improved agricultural, forested pasture lands by encouraging systematic re-growth of existing tree hence positively contributing to the Malawi’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the targets of our National Forestry Landscape Restoration Strategy, as we look forward to agenda 2030 and 2063. We therefore call for more stakeholder involvement in these great Initiatives so as to make earth a better place to live, today and tomorrow”, Said Tembo.

This year’s World Earth Day was being commemorated under the theme ‘Restore Our Earth’.

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