§ 106. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to what extent reafforestation is progressing in Swaziland and Basutoland.
§ Mr. Gordon-Walker
In Swaziland there are two major forestry projects, one undertaken by the Colonial Development Corporation, and one by Peak Timbers, Ltd., a private company. The Corporation's project, which aims at the planting of approximately 75,000 acres in the next five or six years, has made a good beginning. By the end of March, 5,430 acres had been planted with pines, another 3,000 acres prepared for planting and the nurseries contained 5½ million seedlings. I understand that the private development by Peak Timbers Ltd., which began operations before the Corporation, has made excellent progress. This company's afforestable acreage is about 55,000.
In Basutoland, the Administration has to contend with unfavourable terrain and climate. In the past, attempts to afforest large areas have not met with success and there are no commercial projects. However, the Administration is very well aware of the need for tree planting on a smaller scale for soil erosion and to produce timber for local use. Under current Colonial Development and Welfare schemes, a considerable amount of this is being done at carefully selected sites. These recent plantations have been successful, but progress is limited by the funds available. The number of trees so far planted is just under 900,000.