Environmentalists set to launch Global Landscapes Forum Lilongwe Chapter

Lilongwe-based environmentalists are set to launch the first ever chapter of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLFx) with a commitment to restore 4.5 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands across the country by 2030.

Spearheaded by the Centre for Applied Systems Analysis (CASA) and the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) in collaboration with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), GLFx is a community of individuals with passion to accelerate restoration of Malawi’s degraded and deforested landscapes.

Makungwa–GLFx is a community of individuals with passion to accelerate restoration of Malawi’s degraded and deforested landscapes—Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

Through active engagement, collaboration and sharing ideas and information, the Chapter commits to strive to ensure that forests, trees and the functions that they provide are effectively restored, conserved and employed to help secure sustainable livelihoods and ecological functionality of Malawi’s landscapes.

Briefing journalists in Lilongwe on Friday, CASA Managing Director and Convener of GLFx Malawi Chapter Launch, Dr. Steve Makungwa, said the vision of the chapter is to create a new Malawi with sustainable landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient.

Makungwa said the chapter realizes that for Malawi to address deforestation and land degradation, every Malawian must be involved and should play his or her role in one way or the other.

“What we haven’t done before is to have a coordinated approach or a platform that can bring everybody to participate in this initiative. This is where at the global level, there is already this digital platform, which is called Global Landscape Forum and they are encouraging countries to form chapters under that global platform. So, this is where we felt, as a country, we need to form this forum where every Malawian, including our development partners, can come together and share our knowledge, experiences in terms of landscape restoration,” he explained.

Makungwa, who is also aenior lecturer at LUANAR, disclosed that the Miniser of Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo, is expected to lead the GLFx launch on Wednesday next week.

According to Makungwa, Malawi’s deforestation rate stands at 30, 000 hectares per annum based on the satellite image.

He said the chapter will work hard to ensure that every Malawian, from a farmer in the remotest parts of Chitipa, Nsanje, Mchinji and Nkhotakota to the Highest Office on the land, is involved in the restoration of the country’s landscapes.

He commended the Malawi Government for committing 4.5 million hectares of degraded and deforested land to the project for restoration initiative until 2030.

Chief Forestry Officer in the Department of Forestry, Titus Zulu, welcomed the development, saying it will go a long way in bringing back Malawi’s lost glory in terms of natural forests.

Zulu assured that the Ministry of Natural Resources will provide the necessary support toward the successful implementation of the project.

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