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15 June 2020

My Experience in the Miombo Forests

from Matthew Blair - the Rusty Mokoro

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Matthew Blair is a videographer and Livelihoods Restoration Consultant, with a background in community development. Here he shares his experience when filming the latest videos of WeForest's restoration projects in Luanshya and Katanino, Zambia.

 

"Earlier this year before the dreaded lock-downs began, and international travel restrictions took our freedom away, I travelled up to Zambia to film a short assignment for WeForest.org on their projects in Northwestern Zambia, and on the Miombo Forests.

The Miombo Forests of Zambia are disappearing. In the 7 years that I lived in Zambia, I worked alongside communities who depended on the forest to subsidise their living due to their various levels of hardship or employment status, and they usually did this by turning to charcoal production, illegal timber sales and semi-commercial agriculture. Large tracts of healthy Miombo disappeared silently, and fast. The forests can provide so much more value 'alive' than dead. Traditionally the forests were respected as they provided more than anyone would need to survive; from the timber for housing, fuel for cooking, fruits and proteins for nutrition, as well as honey. Aside from all this, the very forests are literally the 'lungs' of the world helping us live in a healthy environment that is in sync with the ecosystem, helping us in the fight against climate change. WeForest.org works with the Forestry Department of Zambia, and the adjacent communities to the protected forest areas to help promote the value of the forests, encourage alternative livelihoods and encourage traditional ownership of the resource to protect it and value it as a productive source for livelihoods. It is a mammoth task that relies heavily on partnerships that WeForest.org are forging solidly in Zambia.

Please go give them a follow to see the incredible work that they are achieving, not only in Zambia, but across the globe."

Matthew Blair @therustymokoro.com