The World Wide Fund(WWF) Uganda has received shs14 billion($4 million) funding from Velux from Denmark to implement a project in Uganda aimed at regeneration of the natural forests for carbon sequestration.
The 20-year project launched today in Kampala will be implemented by WWF Uganda and the National Forestry Authority.
“The Ugandan project is aimed at regenerating the most deforested natural forests, hence the reason for targeting the forests in the Muzizi and Budongo ranges which according to the State of Forests Report 2015, showed the highest levels of forest loss (over 60% of the forests in this region have been lost between 2005 and 2015),”said David Duli, the WWF Uganda Country Director.
He noted that the project will be implemented in the Bugoma-Kagombe landscape which comprises of Bugoma, Kyamurangi Group of Central Forest Reserves, Kagombe, and Kitechura/ Ibambaro Central Forest Reserves using a mix of approaches that include active planting on the central forest reserves, boundary strengthening, and engaging communities to participate in the protection of these reserves as well as reducing pressure on them but also have improved livelihood.
“The long-term outcome of the project is that the forest cover in the landscape is regenerated to create a positive impact on carbon stocks and community benefits with a focus of at least 1 million tons of carbon emissions in the 20th year of the project,” he said.
According to the WWF Uganda Country Director, this grand restoration agenda will contribute to both the national target as enshrined in Vision 2040 and National Development Plan III.
“We are cognizant that the country is working to restore landscapes back to the 1990 levels. We applaud efforts to move from 9% in 2013/14 to currently 12% as of 2021. We hope that our efforts will contribute to the 24% target,” he said.
The 20-year project will have five years of active implementation, five years of maintaining the planted areas and 10 years of monitoring the impacts on carbon, biodiversity, community and households.
The WWF Uganda Country Director, however, noted that they expect from National Forestry Authority as the lead implementing partner, a lot of proactive engagement and keen interest in ensuring the project is delivered on schedule, technically sound and financially transparent.
“We ask that NFA designates a focal person at headquarters from the senior management team to liaise and coordinate project activities with our WWF team. In addition, we shall have to establish joint structures to steer the project,” David Duli urged.
He also requested NFA to avail staff to implement various components of the project.