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Invasive Species Affect 500 hectares Of Mulanje Mountain Biosphere Reserve

Authorities say that alien species affect growth of indigenous vegetation Authorities say that alien species affect growth of indigenous vegetation - file photo

The District Forestry Officer in Mulanje has reported that close to 500 hectares at Chambe Basin on Mulanje Mountain Biosphere Reserve (MMBR) have been affected by invasive species.

District Forestry Officer in Mulanje Newton Sodala says the species that are spreading rapidly in the biosphere reserve are pine, Himalayan raspberry and bracken fern.

“These alien species affect growth of indigenous vegetation and other living things in the biosphere reserve,” said Sodala.

He said the Malawi government is implementing the invasive alien species project through the Environmental Affairs department (EAD), Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNWP) and Forestry Department (FD) with financial support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Sodala said they have also partnered with different environmental organizations such as World life and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM), Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD), Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) and Malawi Environmental Policy and Advocacy (MEPA) to raise awareness and remove the alien species from the mountain.

Policy and Advocacy Officer at WESM Chifundo Dalireni said his organization has been sensitizing communities on the impact of these species to indigenous vegetation on the Mountain.

“We have been living with different alien species, even taking care of them unknowingly and it is high time we sensitized people on these species and their impact,” said Dalireni.

Chairperson of the organizing committee of the 2023 Mount Mulanje Porters Race Kondwani Chamwala said this year's event was also aimed at raising awareness on invasive species and their impact to the indigenous vegetation on Mulanje Mountain.

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