Forestry Department to Find Lasting Solution - Nkondetseni

Chimkombero Chimkombero

The Department of Forestry says it is still working to find lasting solutions to protect Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve and part of Michesi Forest in Phalombe from encroachers who have depleted the reserves with various human activities.

The department’s spokesperson, Frank Nkondetseni, however, told Zodiak Wednesday that the department has an integrated management plan which is expected to be implemented by various stakeholders inclusive communities surrounding the two protected areas to address the problem.

Nkondetseni says the department has lined up a number of interventions to help communities find others means of livelihoods unlike relying on cutting down trees in the forest reserves.

"We would want to see communities living around the protected forests having other means of survival unlike relying on cutting down trees," said Nkondetseni.

He disclosed that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malawi Defence Force (MDF) is still intact and that the department will continue engaging soldiers to help forest guards in curbing illegal wanton cutting down of trees.

While commending the move by the department, Environmental rights activist, Maloto Chinkombero, has challenged government to ensure that it has implemented the plans to save the remaining trees in the country’s forest reserves.

"Government has good plans in stock but implementing such plans become a challenge on the part of government", lamented Chinkombero.

For years, there has been a sharp rise in the illegal logging and production of charcoal in Mulanje and part of Michesi forest reserve in Phalombe.

Malawi has over 80 forest reserves.

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