Global Landscape Forum (GLFx Lilongwe)
The Global Landscape Forum (GLFx) – Lilongwe Chapter is part of the GLFx – Community. The Global Landscapes Forum (GLFx – Community) is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on integrated land use, dedicated to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. The Forum takes a holistic approach to create sustainable landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient and considers five cohesive themes of food and livelihood, landscape restoration, rights, finance and measuring progress.
Since Malawi’s forest landscapes are heavily degraded and continue to be degraded, the GLFx Lilongwe Chapter aims at reversing this trend in order to create sustainable landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient.
Now that the GLFx Lilongwe Chapter has a four member team in place, it is time for the GLFx Lilongwe Chapter to form its community. The chapter would like to establish a “positive community”, a community that would inspire its members to build relationships with others, share knowledge and experiences and learn from each other on matters of forest landscape restoration in Malawi. This community has to be as inclusive as possible in order to build a firm and sustainable foundation for the chapter going forward.
GLFx chapters are independently organized local chapters designed to foster actions on the ground by empowering communities with the necessary technology, knowledge, and motivation to connect, share, learn and act in their landscapes. In Malawi this initiative is being led by Centre for Applied Systems Analysis (CASA). However, the GLFx Lilongwe Chapter is little known in Malawi. As a movement that puts communities first in creating landscape level change, launching the Chapter at national level is very paramount. This being the first public event, there is need therefore to widely publicize the event. As such, participants will be drawn from a cross section of stakeholders that were involved/consulted during the Malawi National Forest Landscape Restoration Strategy development or formulation and shall include – the youth, farmers, rural communities, traditional and religious leaders, human rights groups, NGOs, politicians, media, business leaders, financial institutions, researchers and academia, government and development partners.
Environmentalists in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, launched a chapter of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLFx) on 21st May 2021 with a commitment to restoring 4.5 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands across Malawi by 2030.
The launch was attended by government officials, academics and civil society official interested in forestry and landscape restoration. Among some of the dignitaries who are attended the launch was the Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Hon. Nancy Tembo, and the king of the Maseko Ngoni, His Majesty Inkosi ya makosi Gomani V.
In her keynote address, Tembo noted that Malawi has recently suffered unprecedented degradation of land and forests due to unplanned conversion of forestland to cultivated farmlands, poor farming practices, charcoal production and firewood.
"This nationwide loss in forest cover is currently estimated at 30, 000 hectares per year. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every Malawian to halt this degradation and deforested landscapes across landscapes in the country," Tembo said.
Tembo further noted that the above situation threatens food security, economic growth, and hydropower generation due to siltation in rivers and lakes. She said that the government of Malawi supports forest landscapes restoration as it is the most promising solutions to land degradation. In this respect, the minister affirmed the government of Malawi’s support for the newly launched GLFx Chapter in Malawi.
"The initiative by CASA and IUFRO to establish GLFx Chapter in Malawi is commendable, and the Government of Malawi supports it," she said.
In his remarks, the convener of GLFx Malawi Chapter, Dr. Stephen Makungwa noted that the main objective of the newly formed subdivision is to create a new Malawi with sustainable landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient. Makungwa said the chapter realizes that for Malawi to address deforestation and land degradation, every Malawian must be involved and should play his or her role in one way or the other.
The new chapter will collaborate with the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) and other international chapters of GLFx through active engagement and sharing of ideas to ensure that forests effectively restored, conserved, and employed to help secure sustainable livelihoods and ecological functionality of Malawi's landscapes.
The GLFx chapter is a community of individuals with passion to accelerate restoration of Malawi's degraded and deforested landscapes. The launch of the chapter, which took place at the Bingu International Conference Centre, included paper presentations and discussions both online and in person.