Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) has unveiled plans to plant 500 000 cedar trees in Mulanje Mountain this year.
Speaking in Mulanje yesterday, MMCT programme officer Ibrahim Mitole said the project seeks to restore the cedar tree species which is on the brink of extinction in the mountain.
Said Mitole: “During last year’s tree planting season, we raised 400 000 tree seedlings where 335 973 were planted. This year, we want to plant more than 500 000. We will surely meet our target of one million.”
He said the project has been a success because the trust worked together with the local people.
MMCT has been providing knowledge and improving horticultural methods for cedar restoration in Mulanje Mountain, according to Mitole.
He also said the organisation is currently working with 10 community groups in raising and planting the trees every tree planting season.
Mulanje district assistant district forestry officer David Bello said his office is excited with the project and pledged to continue working with MMCT in planning, supervising, monitoring and evaluating the project.
The project is being funded by the Darwin Initiative and implemented in partnership with Botanical Garden Conservation International, Forest Research Institute of Malawi and the Bedgebury National Pinetum.
In April this year, Forestry Research Institute of Malawi indicated that seven mature cedar trees still stand on the mountain from the 54 000 that were growing in 2013 when Mulanje cedar was declared an endangered species.