Eastern Province Tree Planting Committee Established.

A committee constituted to spearhead the planting of trees in the Eastern Province has unveiled its plan to plant 50 million agroforestry trees next year.

The tree planting exercises will be undertaken by government and other individual stakeholders spearheaded by the newly formed Eastern Province Tree Planting Committee.

The Department of Forestry spearheaded formation of the Tree Planting Committee.

The Committee members include the Department of Forestry, Common Markets for Conservation (COMACO), Muslim Community, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Eastern Water and Sanitation Company Limited, among others.

A forestry officer, Kingsley Muyunda, says the Forestry Department has spearheaded the formation of a tree-planting committee with the objective of coordinating tree-planting activities in the province.

Speaking during a meeting in Chipata, Mr Muyunda said the development will also help improve data capturing on trees planted across the province.

“As a department, we have been sharing information on tree planting activities in the province, but we realised that this information sometimes omitted statistics, especially by stakeholders outside government,” he said adding that: “So this is one of the reasons we have come together as stakeholders to constitute this Committee.”

Meanwhile, COMACO is expected to plant the majority of the trees, after having planted over 20 million in the 2021/2022 season under the organisation’s agroforestry component.

COMACO Extension Regional Manager Kenneth Linyunga said COMACO is planting the gliricidia sepium species tree to replenish soils as well as counter the effects of climate change by reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

My Linyunga said he is confident that the formation of the tree planting committee will help address the issue of deforestation in the province through improved forest cover.