The Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM) has applauded government for suspending the selling of indigenous wood in the country.
According a letter signed by the Director of Forestry Stella Gama, the Department has effected the suspension following reports of increased volumes of indigenous firewood found in the city markets and manufacturing industries.
Gama has also directed that district forest officers and plantation managers must not issue transfer certificates on indigenous wood.
Commenting on the development, WESM Chairperson Dr Tiwonge Gawa said the move by Forestry Department is commendable towards conserving the country`s environment.
“On part as WESM we are very excited to see this action from the department of forestry, we have written to their different offices about the concerns we have had of indigenous forests that are being cleared at an alarming rate.
“So to see this action from the forestry department is really exciting and we really commend them for taking quick action of this matter,” said Dr Gawa.
Dr Gawa has however appealed to the Department to seriously work on the enforcement in order for effective implementation.
“We will be more interested to see how they are monitoring it and how they are ensuring that indeed no one else is given any concession to clear or to harvest indigenous woods,” said the WESM Chairperson.
Huge tracks have been spotted delivering indigenous wood in form of firewood to Chinese companies producing different products including toilet tissues, cartons, fruit juices and cement blocks.
According to the letter, all indigenous wood confiscated inside, or outside protected areas should be stacked at the forestry offices pending the decision of the Director of Forestry on how to dispose of it.