The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has announced that applications for approval of timber processing factories will now require proof of a sustainable source of raw materials, effective immediately.
In a statement on their website dated September 6, 2022, NEMA executive director Barirega Akankwasa stated that existing timber processing plants will also be required to identify and document their sustainable sources of wood before their certificates are renewed.
“The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) hereby informs the general public that effective 6th September 2022, applications for approval of timber processing factories will require proof of sustainable source of supply of raw materials,” he said.
“This new development is intended to consolidate national efforts to restore the environment and national forest cover; and to curb rampant harvesting of immature trees and potential poaching of trees from protected areas.”
In Uganda, trees provide 90% of the energy used in homes for cooking and small-scale industries such as bakeries.
As a result, Uganda’s forest cover has decreased from more than 10 million hectares when the country gained independence in 1962 to less than 3.6 million by 2005.
Environmentalists recently stated that the country’s loss of forest cover poses a threat to future generations and urged NEMA to take action.