By Salima Mvula

NESTLED on the outskirts of Lusaka lies a vast piece of forestry covering

The conservatory boasts a Miombo woodland landscape, predominantly featuring species such as Brachystegia, Julbernardia, and Isoberlinia, commonly known as Muputu, Kabunga, and Mutobo respectively, which are integral to Zambia’s ecosystem.

These indigenous specimens serve multiple purposes, including botanical research, ethnobotanicalstudies, aesthetic appreciation, and educational endeavours focused on conservation.

In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding Zambia’s native tree species, Wildlife Crime Prevention (WCP) Zambia, through its Women for Conservation initiative, recently organised an ‘Eco-walkand Tree-planting’ event at the Chifwema Arboretum.

On 08 March 2024 over 60 participants consisting of conservationists and nature enthusiasts came together to commemorate International Women’s Day as they embarked on a guided walk through the Chifwema Arboretum. Led by botanist Quentin Allen, the walk proved to be both visually stunning and intellectually enriching, with attendees gaining insights into the ecological benefits of the arboretum’s diverse flora.

Quentin enlightened the attendees on the diverse uses of the varying trees found in the arboretum, highlighting tree species such as the Mubanga tree which provides relief from pain when its root powder is applied externally to an affected area

. As well as the Carrot tree which is a multipurpose medicinal plant and can be used to treat pneumonia, asthma, and fever. Deriving its name from the carrot-like aroma it emits when its leaves are crushed.

following the educational walk, participants engaged in a collective tree-planting activity, symbolising their commitment to environmental stewardship. WCP Zambia honoured International Women’s Day by planting an Albizia Adianthifolia – The flat crown tree, and a Ficus Sur also known
as the Cape Fig, dedicating the latter to the memory of Richard Kunda Chimambo, a revered conservationist and environmental activist whose unwavering dedication remains an inspiration to all conservationists.

The event also offered attendees the opportunity to plant individual trees to nurture at home, fostering a sense of personal responsibility towards conservation efforts.

The Women’s Day celebratory event offered WCP’s Women for Conservation network a fun, relaxing and insightful morning of knowledge sharing.

It was the perfect setting that allowed the growing network to share their experiences and build relationships, in a pressure-free environment that deepened their appreciation for nature.

The Chifwema Arboretum which contains over 100 species of
trees aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of Zambia’s indigenous trees and plants, their ecology, and the benefits they bring to the environment, our climate,

and the wellbeing of humans and wildlife. Owned and managed by Clare Pope it also provides livelihood opportunities for those who seek to become involved in nature, the environment, and its conservation. Women for Conservation is an inclusive network that embraces all women, along with gender equality supporters and their allies, who are involved in or passionate about conservation in Zambia. It serves as a platform where individuals can regularly convene, exchange ideas, explore opportunities, and offer mutual support.

Established in 2017, Women for Conservation organises dynamic quarterly events designed to promote gender equality and amplify the role of women in conservation efforts.


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