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Tree counting time :)

Many people ask us how many trees we can plant or how many trees we have planted... But we have realised that the answer lies not in the planting, but in the protection of the trees that are already there. If all everyone did was plant, we would end up with a gap during which there are no trees of useful size to be used, and no forest biodiversity left as all the woods and forests would have been chopped down. Yes, planting trees is vitally important, but protecting forest ecosystems and woodlands is equally so. Protecting areas of mixed natural regeneration means that there is a constant and sustainable supply of biomass that can be used for cooking and heating while preserving the flora and fauna within. TREEZ and the affiliated sports teams and conservation groups are protecting around 250 hectares and we are hoping to receive official permission any time from now 🌿🌱 Each group receives cash incentives to do so, thereby putting much needed money into the local communities. We call it a payment for ecosystem services as it is essentially an exchange of services. How the groups spend their money is entirely up to them; some put it into village banking schemes, some split up the cash, sports teams use it to buy kit and for transport to away games, but ALL of it is spent in their own communities. For forests and woodland ecosystems to be protected, there must be an incentive for them to remain standing. As long as the tree is worth more chopped than it is standing we will continue to face problems. A lot can be done through eduction, but not only in the rural communities; urban populations need to be trained in how to cook with electricity (many turn to charcoal as this is what they are used to), more alternatives should be available and subsidised as and when necessary. The solutions are out there. More will power would be a good start 💚

BREAKING NEWS: The Run 4 Reforestation is back on! Virtually Saturday 4th September It is time to rally your troops (friends, family, colleagues, random acquaintances etc) and run for TREEZ Click here for more info

We, the owner/managers of Zomba Forest Lodge, set up Zomba TREEZ (The Reforestation of the Environment and Ecosystem of Zomba) in 2014, and have been working with local communities and the Forestry Department to reforest and protect over 300 hectares on the south western slopes of Zomba Plateau. For those of you who know Zomba Plateau, you know that it is a massif of rolling hills predominantly planted with pine, dotted with pockets of riverine forests and swarthes of grassland. Zomba TREEZ works mainly on the south western slopes in the areas around Zomba Forest Lodge, with communities and sports teams we have come to know and respect. These areas were previously pine but which after harvesting, had been left uncared for, and much of it burned year after year. We are in the process of obtaining a governmental concession that will allow us to finally officialise and improve our environmental work in this area! We are very excited about this! It takes hard work and dedication (and funds) but these efforts are sorely needed, and the communities now understand the value of our efforts. As we move into the fire season (the dry season), this makes our work even more pressing as our teams end up on the Plateau firefighting alongside the Forestry Department, trying to prevent further environmental degradation. The Run4Reforestation is our main fund raiser for the various activities we carry out which is why we need to make a big song and dance about it :)

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