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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Tree planting – the agenda in conserving forests

Story by Gay Matambo

PROTECTING trees as a way of mitigating climate change dominated proceedings at the Masvingo Province National Tree Planting Day commemorations held in the Chiredzi district this Tuesday.

The tree planting day was marked by the planting of 1600 trees at Gurungweni High School in Chiredzi South constituency.

The move is meant to ensure communities who live in dry parts of the country play an active role in combating climate change.

Mr Matewe said, “We cannot talk of climate change mitigation and adaptation without mentioning the important role of trees and forests. I encourage you to replicate this exercise in all our districts working with like-minded people so that we spread the word on the importance of having a healthy environment especially the trees as we are now in the tree planting season.”

The commemorations come at a critical time when some areas in the Chiredzi district have lost significant forests due to deforestation.

“Trees act as barriers of land degradation in the face of floods with Chiredzi district being a flood-prone area. As a country, we have a target to plant 25 million trees. Masvingo Province has a target of 1 million trees and Chiredzi district has a target to plant 150 000 trees from November 2023 to April 2024. This is not only a mandate of the Forestry Commission but for everyone. We want each constituency and every community to take part in this noble initiative that will conserve our forests. In Masvingo Province Chiredzi is leading in terms of deforestation,” Forestry Commission board member, Professor Shoko said.

Local leadership in Chiredzi district pledged to play a leading role in encouraging communities to plant trees and conserve forests.

Legislator for Chiredzi South constituency, Honourable Joel Sithole said “We want to join hands with the traditional leaders and village heads in actively participating in the tree planting programme because trees are life. We get medicines from trees. We want to reclaim forests here in Gurungweni by planting more trees.”

“We have very few trees here mainly because it’s generally a dry area. We will support this programme and ensure that these trees planted today will not die,” said Chief Mupapa.

Experts have described trees as the first line of defence in fighting climate change, hence the government’s drive to promote tree planting countrywide.

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