On December 5, 2018 President Mnangagwa officially launched the 2018/ 2019 Tree Planting season at the National Tree Planting commemoration held at State House in Harare.
The President took time to read out and sign a Declaration affirming Government’s commitment to recognise the National Tree Planting Day every year and also the importance of participation by people from all walks of life in tree planting and forests conservation programmes.
The President personally took the lead in the campaign by planting the tree of the year, Mushuma, Umdlauzo, African Ebony or Diospyros Mespiliforis at State House, followed by the First Lady and the two Vice Presidents. (See full text of the Declaration below)
“I wish to affirm the commitment by the Government of Zimbabwe to recognise the First Saturday of December every year as National Tree Planting Day.
Trees and Forests remain a vital component of our daily lives and with many communities and industries currently deriving their livelihoods from trees, forests and forest-based products and ecosystem services, it is critical for the country to recognise their importance and collectively work to conserve this natural resource.
My Government realises that many developmental projects in the country have negatively impacted on the forest resource and while policy measures can be applied to address the challenge, tree planting, tree care as well as management of existing woodlands remain the primary solutions that everyone can participate in and make a difference.
The first Saturday of December will be commemorated as National Tree Planting Day and will be the day to launch the tree planting season in the country.
I will personally lead in this campaign by planting a tree to commemorate this occasion and I urge leadership in all sectors of society to demonstrate this environmental stewardship so that the whole nation appreciates the value and the need to conserve trees and forests.”
In the spirit of the message delivered by the President, Zimbabwe shall continue to recognise the first Saturday of December as the National Tree Planting Day where leadership from all sectors of society shall be expected to lead their respective communities in embarking on tree planting and forestry-related activities.
The business leadership is called upon to give back to society by sponsoring tree planting and woodland management and protection activities. Some corporates like Nyaradzo, Glow and Zuva Petroleum to mention just a few have already partnered Forestry Commission in this noble cause.
Traditional leadership, the chiefs, are the custodians of the environment in their areas and they must see to it that the forests around them are well managed and that their communities participate in tree planting activities.
Forestry Commission has officers in every district and is encouraging every sector of our society to work with its officers in tree planting and woodland management and protection activities.