ITF have received a very positive annual report from the Cluny Wildlife Trust who are managing the Improvement of Livelihoods of Rural People project on Likoma Island in Malawi.
Since the start of the project in August 2010, the scheme has raised and planted out 40,000 seedlings of five different species of tree. This has significantly exceed the original aim of 30,000 seedlings. The trees raised in three nurseries and planted out by 20 beneficiaries comprised of a combination of individuals, schools, chieftains, village communities, an association, a church and the government forestry department.
By planting these trees, the scheme aims to create an alternative fuel wood and building material supply for local communities in an attempt to relieve pressure on the last remaining 70 ha of indigenous forest on the Island.
Awareness of the need to conserve indigenous forest and to propagate and manage other sources of fuel wood and building materials has also been raised on the Island. Of the 12 Village Natural Resource Committees on the Island three were engaged in this project. The remaining 9 are very keen to improve the effort to establish planted forests on the Island in the future
The people of Likoma have been concerned about the reduction of natural forest and the scarcity and resultant high cost of fuel wood and building materials on the Island for some time. Traditional authorities, local government and individuals alike have enthusiastically supported the reception of assistance to address these issues. The community has invested land, labour and equipment in this collaborative action. The Forestry department added its full support to the action involving this project in the National Tree Planting Month activities on the Island.