Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust has bemoaned the decline of cedar forest cover in Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve.
Kondwani Chamwala, Environmental and Communications Officer for the Trust said wanton cutting down of trees is posing a threat to the continued existence of the tree in the mountain.
“Over the past 28 years the population has declined by 37%, this might make cedar tree to become extinct,” he complained.
Chamwala added that the current prevalence of the tree in Mulanje Mountain is not significant to provide adequate seedlings to support the next tree planting season.
He however expressed optimism that a ray of hope still remains as the trust has planted over 4,000 cedar seedlings during this year’s planting season.
“We hope that this will bring back Mulanje Mountain’s lost glory,” he said.
Cedar tree grows naturally only on Mulanje Mountain and was declared a national tree in 1984 by the country’s founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Mulanje cedar is a high value timber tree and represents an important source of income for local communities.