Tree improvement: The institute has established seed orchards of improved cultivars of pine and eucalyptus tree species– currently more than 100ha have been established in Zomba and Viphya Plantation, using improved cultivars that have been raised from imported seeds from South Africa and Zimbabwe. FRIM will be assessing performance of the species over the coming years.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation– FRIM is successfully participated in the Norwegian-funded “Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme” from 2010 to 2016. The institute facilitated uptake of Climate Smart Agriculture by smallholder farmers. It also supported communities in the basin districts including Chiradzulu district and areas surrounding Thuma Forest Reserve to regenerate and conserve forests in degraded and fragile sites in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change. FRIM carried out resource assessments and carbon mapping in all project sites so that communities can be involved in the carbon market, in future. The institute as a key member of the REDD+ Expert Group is also part of the team developing a REDD + strategy for Malawi.
Resource and biomass assessments: FRIM has recently carried out resource assessments in all Forest Reserves, Timber Plantations and selected Village Forest Areas in the country. The objective of this exercise is to determine woodland dynamics, quantify the wood, non-wood and carbon resource, determine biodiversity changes over time and ultimately determine optimum sustainable management options. Through PERFORM project, FRIM is also engaged in piloting of the NFI system in Malawi. Meanwhile, FRIM has developed a management plan for Zomba Timber Plantation and is working on plans for the other timber plantations.
Invasive Species Management: FRIM has in the recent past coordinated FISNA, a network of scientists in Africa who are collaborating to identify and share information on the management of forest invasive species. The institute is working with the United Nation’s FAO to develop and host a FISNA website in Malawi. FRIM carried out surveys to determine the dynamics and impact of various forest invasive species that affect eucalyptus and pine plantations.
Fine Hardwood Species – In 2012, a test plantation was established in Zomba Mountain Timber plantation to assess the performance and limitations of various indigenous fine hardwood species in a plantation set up. FRIM is monitoring growth, pest resistance and management options.
In-situ and ex-situ conservation of wild species. FRIM is collaborating with international and local institutions, to collect and conserve seeds in local and international long term storage facilities. The institute has developed a program for the use of the stored seeds with focus on habitat restoration and re-introduction in degraded sites.
Non-Timber Forest Products – The institute has worked with communities surrounding Thuma Forest area to conserve bamboo and add value to bamboo products and other non-timber forest products. A concept is being developed to conduct an inventory of baobab trees in Malawi and entire SADC region.
Advisory and Support services– The institute continues to provide support by providing quality tree seeds and seedlings, advice on general management of trees and forests, pest and disease management phytosanitary certification services and teaching at higher level academic institutions .
Changalume LaFarge cement mining site rehabilitation – Signed a contractual agreement with LaFarge and successfully rehabilitated and restored the old mining site at Changalume.
PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS
Forestry Invasive Species Network for Africa (FISNA) – FRIM is a coordinating institution.
Focal Point–for Development of the Country Report on Forest Genetic Resources
Woods Hole Research Center (USA)-signed MOU for collaboration in forest modeling, mapping, carbon assessments and training.
University of Edinburgh (UK) – signed MOU on general collaboration
University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada — general research and capacity building collaboration
Tree crops Limited-signed MOU on national and regional inventory and assessment of Boabab trees.
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) – partnership in Indigenous fruit tree genebank management and Agroforestry projects.
Millennium Seed Bank Project– partnership with the Royal Botanical Garden (Kew), National commission for Science and Technology, National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens, National Plant Genetic Resource Centre– in conservation of wild flowering plants.
Paraclette Institute (Australia) – collaboration on improved management of Zomba Mountain Timber Plantation, training in timber harvesting, grading and processing, plus general support for research.
Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Project LCBCCAP– partnership with LEAD-SA and World Fish, to facilitate/carry out climate change adaptation and mitigation activities in Zomba, Machinga, Phalombe, Chiradzulu Districts and Thuma Forest Reserve.
Winrock Institute for Agriculture Development – partner institution in the project on “Scoping for Opportunities for Malawi’s engagement in the carbon Market”.