Global Landscapes Forum (GLFx) Lilongwe chapter launched
Environmentalists in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, launched a chapter of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLFx) on 21st May 2021 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 official interested in forestry and landscape restoration. Among some of the dignitaries who are attended the launch was the Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Hon. Nancy Tembo, 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.
"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 solutions to land degradation. In this respect, the minister affirmed the government of Malawi’s support for the newly launched GLFx Chapter in Malawi.
"The initiative by CASA and IUFRO to establish GLFx Chapter in Malawi is commendable, and the Government of Malawi supports it," she said.
In his remarks, the convener of GLFx Malawi Chapter, Dr. Stephen Makungwa noted that the main objective of the newly formed subdivision 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.
The new chapter will collaborate with the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) and other international chapters of GLFx through active engagement and sharing of ideas to ensure that forests effectively restored, conserved, and employed to help secure sustainable livelihoods and ecological functionality of Malawi's landscapes.
The GLFx chapter is a community of individuals with passion to accelerate restoration of Malawi's degraded and deforested landscapes. The launch of the chapter, which took place at the Bingu International Conference Centre, included paper presentations and discussions both online and in person.