Jul 1, 1938
PERHAPS the most important information contained in the annual report of the Forestry Department for the Nyasaland Protectorate (for the year ending December 31, 1936. Govt. Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland, 1937) are the remarks on soil erosion and the investigation work now being undertaken in this, considered to be one of the greatest dangers facing Africa as a whole. Extensive areas were examined with particular regard to overcrowding and to cultivation on steep hill slopes in parts of the southern province. On the subject of forest policy it is stated that provision is to be made for the demarcation, protection, and management of selected forests and woodlands by native authorities, where the objects of conservation are comparatively local. These local Government forests will be supplementary to the State forests, but they will in no way supersede the village forests which are managed by the village headmen solely in the interests of village needs. There will thus be three types of demarcated forests in the future, each managed by its own authority. One of the chief dangers in many parts, owing to the improvident habits of the people, is erosion. Provided that each type of forest reservation may be made to serve as a protective agent against this evil, the steps now being taken appear to meet existing problems.