A change of mindset is not an overnight Santa gift but a long term call for positive change. As a mitigation measure, promoting education for land and forest conservation, energy efficiency and stewardship for environment would be necessary to maintain continued benefits from trees, as well as promote regeneration and sustainability. This would ensure a deeper rooting of the consideration for the planet habitual planting of trees for us and future generations.
Local and other solutions for reducing deforestation
The Government of Lesotho and her partners have made considerable investments in tree planting, promoting rangeland management and conservation. However, there is a huge disincentive resulting from economic conditions within the communities, which is promoting the conscious deforestation. A careful review of different programme strategies and policies would be required to ensure ecological sustainability and conscious afforestation as well as achieve the set national target of achieving 5% tree cover by 2020 by planting 1,500,000 trees a year (target that seems to have been missed).
Some of the observed and historical solutions for reforestation and afforestation include:
· Policy and institutional solutions:
o Lesotho ‘National Tree Planting day’ which was a dedicated public holiday on the 21st March, for planting trees, inspired by the first arrival of Europeans in 1833. This resulted in some of the largest trees in existence today, from the former woodlot project which was run from 1973 to 1987. This project also supported training Basotho as foresters. Abolition of the holiday has resulted in a negative culture to afforestation.
o The Government also enacted the Forestry Act of 1978 to support the development of woodlots project which was followed by the creation of Forestry Division within the Ministry of Agriculture.
o The Government further established a Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation to promote forestation and range management.