Republic of Malawi
By: Davies Munthali
Kenyan athlete Evans Kemboi Yator on Thursday, 26th September in Lilongwe planted trees at Chilambula Local Education Authority primary school.
The 2018 Zambia-Lusaka marathon runners-up medalist has embarked on the worldwide tree planting campaign to advocate for Africanness in mitigating climate change.
Falling under the theme of “Carbon dioxide emission and global temperature at below 2 degrees Celsius”, Kemboi expects to advocate for the theme in 40 countries across the continent.
Speaking at the event that pulled Forestry and education representatives, Kemboi said 10 percent of vegetative recovery is possible only if all stakeholders at individual, family, community and national levels can collate to challenge global warming by 2022.
“This campaign seeks to ensure that vegetative recovery is appreciated if we all work together,” he said.
He added that the environment which includes trees is what propels the bigger part of tourism. It’s features like biological diversity (biodiversity), which encompasses a number of animal species, and the general ecological systems (ecosystems), which outlines the general interactions between communities of organisms and their favoured environment, are what many like to see.
At the same time, energy is derived from a cross-section of environmental products including sunlight, wind and water. Albeit more destructive to the environment, wood obtained from the environment is a source of energy for many Malawians.
Therefore, Kemboi pointed out that Malawi which has not, to a greater extent, exploited athletes as climate change ambassadors should start doing so. This has left government as the only reliable stakeholder of sustaining and managing forests.
“It’s high time Malawi needed to fix its environmental shortfalls by letting forestry partner with athletes to power sustainable environmental development,” the said.
Speaking at the tree planting event, Chief Forestry Extension Officer Titus Zulu appreciated athlete’s gesture in advocating for climate change and environmental management. However, Zulu reckoned that forest contributes positively to the nation’s economy through a wide range of forest resources including timber, firewood, mushroom, medicinal plants, honey, fodder for livestock.
A number of factors abound for that status quo; but chief among them has been the persistent exposure of the trees to fires. Consequently, through international forest signatories and national strategies like National Biodiversity Strategy and action plan for 2015-2025, Forestry department devises media messages to relay values of biodiversity to the economy and human well-being, sustainable use of biodiversity and strategies for its conservation and information on climate change.
“Through government forest conservation strategies, the forestry department provides a framework for appropriately communicating with stakeholders and target audiences regarding implementation of the plans, progress is evident with Kemboi’s gesture,” he said.
The head teacher for Chilambula LEA primary school Charity Limwame Nyasulu assured the athlete and the forestry representatives that the trees planted will be managed accordingly.
In her remarks, she recognised the need for information on how schools and youths can participate in biodiversity conservation.
Facilitated by forestry department, some of the natural planted trees were of M’bawa and Nsangu.
Kemboi Evans Yator is expected to proceed with the tree planting campaign across the continent with Zambia next on the ladder.