UK supports forest, tree cover monitoring initiative

Michael Usi

The United Kingdom (UK), in collaboration with the Malawi Government, Tuesday launched the National Forest and Landscape Restoration Monitoring Unit to strengthen efforts aimed at monitoring forest and tree cover in the country.

The unit will be under the Department of Forestry and seeks to “support Malawi to credibly monitor its forest and tree cover”.

Despite launching the National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy in 2017, Malawi did not have a unit or system that could effectively monitor forest landscape restoration across the country.


Speaking at the launch of the unit on March 21, which happens to be International Day of Forests, UK Deputy High Commissioner and Development Director in Malawi, Olympia Wereko- Brobby, said Malawi’s forests are constantly under threat, such that there is a need to put in place mechanisms for safeguarding them.

“Malawi’s forests are essential to the wellbeing of everyone.

“However, these forests are under stress from unsustainable use, including illegal charcoal production. This unit provides, for the first time in this country, a system that can support the monitoring of forest landscape restoration. It will be a critical tool in mitigating the worst impacts of climate change— something that is at the front of all our minds given the devastating loss Cyclone Freddy has caused,” Wereko-Brobby said.


The financial support for the unit is being made through the Modern Cooking for Healthy Forest Project, which is co-funded with United States Agency for International Development.

UKAid is being used to build the capacity of staff working in the monitoring unit, including how to effectively use forest monitoring equipment.

Natural Resources and Climate Change Minister Michael Usi graced the event.

He lauded the UK government for the initiative, saying there is a need to protect trees and forests to mitigate the impact of climate change.

The Government of Malawi has, in line with the Bonn Challenge, pledged to restore 4.5 million hectares of degraded land, with the UK expressing commitment to support the cause.

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