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Tackling the Climate Change Issue in Malawi

CARBON PROJECT-PLANTING OF INDEGENOUS TREES-KHAYA ANTHOTHECAE One of the initiatives to tackle Climate Change issue in Malawi is through “Carbon Project” Farmers prepare land on which they planted local trees like Khaya Anthothecae locally known as Mbawa and paid for each tree planted. This was coordinated by Department of Forestry. The project was implemented in selected Districts in Malawi. In Malawi every year we plant over 50,000,000 seedlings but I question how many of them grow to serve the aim.

Importance of this Project Indigenous trees (forests) absorb a lot of Carbon dioxide, by planting such trees we are controlling some effects of climate change hence to responding to policy. Criticisms of the Project The way the project was done was like an income generating activity for farmers and at the same time because of the monetary concepts, Government officials got involved in planting the trees so that they can get the money.

Secondly, the way the project was coordinated was not in the best interest of stakeholders, not all important stakeholders were involved as such accountability and transparency was not properly done. Furthermore, the farmers involved were only involved in planting the seedlings that came from other farmers. This is wrong, if we are to build capacity, we need to teach the farmers on how to raise the seedlings and later how to plant and take care of the seedlings so that they must grow.

Volunteerism should also be encouraged and emphasis made on the importance of such initiative. Delay in delivering of materials for the initiatives also lead to failure of farmers to plant in time as such some trees were planted after the rains hence most of them died. Recently in Malawi, Civil Society Organizations formed a Forum (Network) for discussing Climate Change issues and how Projects related to Climate Change should be implemented and coordinated.

There is a general view that communities should be educated on the importance of planting trees and educated on issues related to Climate Change. In conclusion, the project on carbon is one way used to control the effects of Climate Change and responding to policy, but those involved should be very careful on implementation. In some areas where these trees were planted showed that over half of the trees died because of late planting and lack of care of seedlings. This should be a lesson learnt to all involved in CC.