Forestry Commission reached 1,000 likes!
Thanks for being a part of the Forestry Commission community! Share this Page with friends to help more people learn about it.
Forestry Commission is a parastatal under the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate Our mission is to contribute to national socio-economic development through effective regulation and capacity enhancement in the sustainable utilisation and management of forest resources.
Forestry Commission reached 1,000 likes!
Thanks for being a part of the Forestry Commission community! Share this Page with friends to help more people learn about it.
Press Statement By the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri (MP) to mark World Environment Day 2016......
It is my pleasure and honour to be with you as I issue a press statement on World Environment Day. This day is commemorated on the 5th of June each year and was proclaimed in 1972 by the UN General Assembly to mark the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment. This is a global awareness raising day which is the “mother” of all commemorations and focuses on topical environmental issues.
Investing in a healthy environment is investing in the health and well-being of current and future generations; a key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Zimbabwe has made significant strides in instituting necessary environmental policies, legislation, and specific regulations to promote the sustainable utilization of its natural resources and protection of the environment. This year, we commemorate the day under the theme “Go Wild for Life – Conserve Biodiversity”. This theme encourages us to conserve all flora and fauna that is under threat and take action to help safeguard it for future generations.
Ladies and gentlemen, this World Environment Day, we are focusing on sensitizing the nation on the importance of trees, afforestation and reforestation initiatives in order to restore our vegetation cover and protect our biodiversity.
Forests and woodlands cover about 45 per cent of Zimbabwe’s land area, constituting the largest terrestrial ecosystem. Just under one-quarter (24 per cent) of the area under woodland and forest is situated in National Parks, Safari Areas, Sanctuaries and Botanical Reserves. Forty three (43) per cent is found in communal areas while the remainder occurs in commercial farming and resettlement areas. There are also small areas of moist forests and plantations of exotic commercial species covering about 89,000 hectares in the Eastern Highlands.
Trees are an important component of human life and ecosystems. People live within different types of ecosystems in which trees provide many services. These services can be put into different categories that include ecological and environmental functions, community and social functions, personal and spiritual functions, and economic and commercial functions.
Ladies and gentlemen, forest resources contribute about 3% - 4% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generally to the improvement of food security, domestic needs of rural communities, generation of rural income, agricultural productivity and ultimately to the protection of the environment.
Trees and forests provide timber for the construction industry, wood fuel for domestic cooking and tobacco curing, non-wood forest products such as fibre, food in the form of caterpillars, honey, mushrooms, bush meat and medicines. Thus livelihoods, especially in rural areas, are shaped by the availability and quality of forest resources in many parts of Zimbabwe.
Trees improve soil generation, soil and water conservation, purification of air and water, nutrient recycling, maintenance of biological diversity in habitats, species and genetic resources. Trees mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration and the timber and forest industry provides employment and income, recreation and tourism, protection of natural and cultural heritage.
Despite the importance of trees I have just highlighted, we continue to experience high rates of deforestation in the country. It is estimated that Zimbabwe has a deforestation rate of 330 000 hectares per annum which is highly unsustainable and one of the highest in Southern Africa. Loss of forests is closely related to demographic growth and the conversion of forest land to other uses.
In Zimbabwe, the main causes of this deforestation has been the conversion of forest land to agricultural land which accounts for 80% [264 000 ha] of the deforestation rate. Tobacco curing using firewood accounts for 15% [15 000ha] of the total deforestation rate while the 5% remainder is due to use of firewood for household heating and cooking.
Other major direct causes of forest degradation due to human activities include overharvesting of industrial wood, veld fires and infrastructural development that is, dam construction, road construction, urban expansion, both legal and illegal mining operations and illegal settlements.
Underlying causes include poverty, population growth, markets and trade in forest products, and macroeconomic policies. Forests are also susceptible to natural factors such as insect pests, diseases, fire and extreme climatic events.
The effects of deforestation, forest degradation and forest fires represent a permanent loss of the potential capacity of forest resources to generate economic benefit. Deforestation also causes reduced protection for rivers and dams from siltation; formation of gullies and disappearance of forest products such as mushrooms.
Ladies and gentlemen, oxygen is a necessary gas for the human and animal respiratory systems, without which there would be no life on planet Earth. This oxygen in produced naturally by trees through the process of photosynthesis. It is estimated that every human being needs eight (8) trees every year to produce oxygen for breathing. Let us consider this, if you have not planted a tree in your lifetime, from whose tree are you getting your oxygen from? If you cut down trees without planting, are you committing murder by removing some else’s source of oxygen? Let us not be murderers buy cutting down trees but be givers of life by planting more trees.
In the same vein, trees and shrubs purify the air we breathe by removing dust and absorbing pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide produced by our vehicles and industrial processes. If we cut down trees we will end up having a lot of polluted air and these pollutants have undesirable effects on our health. As motorists how many trees have we planted to offset the carbon dioxide we would have emitted into the atmosphere? It is time each and every one of us to be aware of our carbon footprint and do something about it, by reducing our emissions and planting trees.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is high time for farmers in the tobacco industry to adopt cleaner ways in curing their tobacco. These systems include the use of biogas and solar as a heat sources. These systems have a huge potential to ease the pressure on indigenous forests and allow for regeneration to take place.
If we continuously cut down trees for tobacco curing we expose the land to erosion which leads to siltation of rivers and dams. This will in turn reduce the carrying capacity of the water bodies and result in water shortages for agricultural use through irrigation systems.
Deforestation and forest degradation also results in reduced infiltration rates and ground water recharge. This affects the availability of drinking and irrigation water especially in drought years such as this one.
One of the thrusts of ZIMASSET is to promote the value addition of products. The forest sector is uniquely positioned to excel in achieving this objective as trees are used in construction, furniture manufacturing, tools making, sporting equipment, and thousands of household items. Value added products have the potential for exports and increasing revenue for the country. The paper making industry is also dependent on the forestry sector for raw materials as wood pulp is used to make paper. There is great scope to improve these industries in order to create employment for our citizens.
The forestry sector can also play a significant role in agro-forestry through the resuscitation of the fruit growing and manufacturing industry. Most of the fruit juices consumed in Zimbabwe are imported from neighboring countries causing Zimbabwe to lose significant amounts of revenue. I call upon companies and communities to engage in fruit tree growing to enhance the country’s food and nutrition security as well as improve livelihoods.
The health sector also benefits from trees and shrubs as they have medicinal properties and are a source of chemicals and medicines. In Zimbabwe, the bark of Munyii, Mutowa and Chikombegwa to mention a few are used to treat stomach pains. In Chipinge area, the roots of Mutsviru tree are used to treat Bilharzia and diarrhea. These are but a few of the medicinal uses of trees.
Ladies and gentlemen, my Ministry embarked on a five year National Tree Planting Programme in the year 2015. The main objective of this programme is to increase the country’s forest cover and reduce deforestation.
We are pleased that youth and women groups, individuals, church organisations and the tobacco growing sector, have come forward to participate in the National Tree Planting Programme. This programme involves the planting of 75 million trees nationwide covering a total area of 45 740 hectares over the next five years. This translates to an annual tree planting rate of 15 million trees covering 9 148 hectares.
We have developed plans with these stakeholders to raise tree seedlings of both indigenous and exotic tree species, fruit and fodder trees and plant them in community woodlots, church woodlots, individual farm and homestead woodlots as well as primary and tertiary school’s woodlots.
Going forward, Zimbabwe should increase its participation in climate change mitigation frameworks such as the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programmes. These would allow the country to participate in the global carbon markets and generate revenue for conservation and communities.
All these issues will be considered in the Forest Policy which the Ministry is currently developing. We would like the nation to participate in the consultation processes and provide your input into the process so that the Forest Policy would reflect our aspirations going forward.
In conclusion, it is important that this World Environment Day, we reflect on the importance of trees to our existence and commit ourselves to planting trees in the coming rainy season. We are calling for a massive reafforestation programme through collaboration with youths, women groups, and civil society organisations. The target to plant 15 million trees in the 2016 – 2017 tree planting season should be surpassed. In this regard I call upon everyone to work closely with my Ministry in its endeavor to re-green our environment.
I Thank You All!
21 March is International Day Of Forests. Forests impact on our lives in so many ways and it is everyone's mandate to protect and conserve them. Spread the message as we Celebrate Forests and Water.
The National Tree Planting Campaign this season is running under the theme 'Trees and Forests-Protecting Soils Food Security"
Forests and soils and their interactions carry out key functions that contribute to food security and a healthy environment.
The interactions between forests and soils help to maintain the environmental conditions needed for agricultural production. These positive effects are far reaching and ultimately help to ensure a productive food system, improved rural livelihoods and a healthy environment in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges.
Forests really tie everything together — and we often don't appreciate them until they're gone. Beyond all their specific ecological roles they have to be recognized as earth's most successful setting for life on land without which many species would not survive.
The season is here. TREE PLANTING IS EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILTY
Many thanks to the Zion Christian Church, Chitungwiza Wellness Centre for helping us usher in this important season by launching their tree planting campaign. This is a challenge to all churches to do the same.
Forest Industries Training Centre (FITC) and the Zimbabwe College of Forestry play a critical role as training institutions both locally and within the SADC Region. The colleges recently held their 22nd joint graduation ceremony with 4 of the 23 graduating students coming from Swaziland. The colleges fall under the banner of the the Forestry Commission Research and Training Division and continue to be a mark of pride for the Forestry Commission and The Government of Zimbabwe.
Below: The Graduation Ceremony in Pictures...
A news clip on the recently held Workshop on The Role of Traditional practices in Natural Resources Management in Matobo District.
Thank you ZBC News (Sifiso Sibanda) and all media practitioners supporting us as we take this program around the country.
Another one bagged by forestry Commission
Congtatulations Team Manicaland for the impressive work at the Manicaland Agric Show.
They got the Best Temporary Industrial Stand award giving us a nice closing to the agric show season.
Our Students represented our colleges very well too in the various competitions. Keep it up.
CONGRATULATIONS to our baby NGAMO SAFARIS for scooping the BEST SAFARI COMPANY IN ZIMBABWE 2015 Award at the MegaFest Tourism awards held on Friday 25 September in Victoria Falls/
To Ngamo Safaris Management and Staff, we say 'Keep up the good work. we are so proud of you.'
Ngamo Safaris- A Truly Unforgettable Experience
FORESTS FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT!
Speech by the Minister Of Environment, Water and Climate after tour of Nana Community woodlot and Mafanisa acacia genebank in Ntabazinduna.
I feel honoured to officiate at this occasion as we witness the splendid work being done by the Community in collaboration with Forestry Commission. The objective of this gathering is to share the knowledge and experiences of how our indigenous trees can be planted and successfully managed to maturity. The indigenous Acacia tree woodlot that you see here today is now 19 years old. The trees have started producing seed which our researchers have collected and used to raise more trees.
This Mafanisa Acacia woodlot will go a long way in the process of reproducing these initial experimental trees till they are distributed widely in various parts of the country. I commend the Mafanisa community for a job well done for managing this woodlot, please continue cooperating with the researchers so that the gene bank continues to serve as a demonstration centre for the management and utilization of these Acacia species.
Closer to home, we have a good example of the Nana Village community where naturally growing Acacia trees have been successfully managed to enhance local community livelihoods. The overall aim of managing our trees and forests is to promote the management and conservation of forest resources for sustainable livelihoods and environmental protection; hence the theme: "African Acacias for Afforestation and Sustainable Livelihoods"
Acacia trees and forests are wide-spread across tropical and subtropical Africa, and in Zimbabwe they are predominantly found in the western, south and south western parts of the country which are predominantly dry zone ecological regions IV and V occupying 24.8 million hectares.
In Agroforestry, acacias are useful as fertilizer trees, as they improve soil fertility for arable cropping. In the wild, many birds find it highly advantageous to nest in Acacia trees due to the species’ ability to protect the nests and their contents from predators. Some Acacia trees also provide special products such as gum Arabic. Because of the diversity of products and services they provide, acacia species have earned recognition in a wide range of production systems that include the manufacturing industry where the gum Arabic is a key ingredient in the confectionery industry. It is because of these and other uses that the acacia trees fit very well in the Food Security cluster in the Zim-ASSET.
Furthermore, the acacia trees easily adapt to most harsh and other dry environments. It is difficult to imagine how the environment in this dry part of Zimbabwe would look like without woodlands which are as resilient and easily adaptive such as our acacia woodlands.
Ladies and Gentleman, realizing the socio-economic value that acacia woodlands can bring to the Zimbabwean economy, Forestry Commission with funding support from the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom commissioned a study in 1993 to assess the adaptive potential of acacia tree species in dry Matabeleland and also to find out how communities can be involved in managing the woodlands.
The project had multi-locational sites with centers at Ntabazinduna, Matopos and Guyu (near Gwanda). This particular trial at Ntabazinduna is made up of 4 acacia species namely Acacia Karroo, Acacia nilotica, Acacia Senegal and Acacia tortilis, covering an area of 6 hectares.
Today, after 19 years, it is pleasing to see that the local community here at Ntabazinduna is actively participating in the co-management of the woodlot protecting it from vandalism while deriving benefits such as fodder, firewood and grazing. Today, this community stands tall as one of the pioneers of a noble forest co-management initiative that has brought all of us here to witness a community –based woodland co- management concept.
Over the years my Ministry through the Forestry Commission has been promoting planting of eucalyptus woodlots in many parts of the country and have been facing challenges of vandalism, negative publicity about eucalyptus water uptake, perennial droughts, browsing by animals, pests and diseases. With lessons and experiences learnt from this project, it has become evident that the solution may be to go the route of co-management and conservation of our indigenous forests and woodlands as has been the case with the Ntabazinduna pilot project. Efforts of this nature should be replicated in other parts of the country.
Following the Mafanisa and Nana experience, my Ministry will soon be rolling out a national afforestation programme that will see the resuscitation of central nurseries throughout the country. This programme will involve participation of communities in all the 63 administrative districts, including urban centres with an objective to plant 15million trees during the 2015/2016 season. This will translate to at least 60 million trees planted within the next 4 to 5 years. This will also be followed by the establishment of beekeeping projects within the woodlots to add value to the planted trees. The programme will culminate in the establishment of fruit trees, indigenous and exotic woodlots.
Currently My Ministry is exploring ways to assist communities to market their forest produce such as honey, mushrooms, mopane worms, fruits and other forest products at national regional and international levels. We are in the process of strengthening and developing the whole value chain of forest products so that our communities are able to produce, process and market these products. These mechanisms will also be part of our Forest policy which is currently being developed. I therefore urge all stakeholders to participate in the formulation of this policy.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need to put in place veld fire suppression measures such as fire guards and fire fighting teams to protect our forests. We have been loosing a lot of our forest resources to the rampant scourge of veldt fires in recent years. As of 16 September 2015, a total area of 891 593.08 ha has been destroyed by veld fires across the country with six lives having been lost since the beginning of the fire season. We therefore call upon all stakeholders to work together in the implementation of the national fire strategy and action plan.
As I conclude, I would like to invite all institutions here present and other organizations involved in research and development to embrace partnership opportunities through collaboration to achieve a common goal.
With these few remarks ladies and gentlemen, let me wish you all a fruitful event and exchange of views on how forests can contribute to the fortunes of Zimbabwe’s economic growth.
I thank you.
No. 1 Orange Grove Drive
(From Harare City Centre) One drives up Samora Machel then turns left into Enterprise Road. Pass the Newlands roundabout and soon after that turn left into Orange Grove Drive. Forestry Commission is the forested area to you left just after the roundabout.
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Forestry Commission posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Send a message to Forestry Commission: