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Denmark Funds Climate Change Project for Rwenzori Sub-Region

The four-year project, code-named Innovation and Gender Sensitive Nature-Based Solutions for Resilience-NBS and Green jobs is implemented by WWF-Uganda in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Bunyangabu, Ntoroko, Kabarole and Rubirizi.
A technician takes timber delears through operations of the wood mizer

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The Danish Government through World Wild Fund for Nature-Demark has injected over 7 million Danish Krone (3.9 billion Shillings) to reduce on the impacts of climate change and poverty on communities within the Rwenzori landscape.

The four-year project, code-named Innovation and Gender Sensitive Nature-Based Solutions for Resilience-NBS and Green jobs is implemented by WWF-Uganda in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Bunyangabu, Ntoroko, Kabarole and Rubirizi.

The other supporting partners include Reproductive Health Uganda-RHU, local CSO hubs, district timber grower associations and the Uganda National Agriculture Development Organization-TUNADO. 

Speaking to URN, Yonah Karibwije Turinayo the project overall coordinator says they intend to ensure communities have secure and improved ecosystem resilience to climate change through providing alternative sources of incomes and energy. 

He adds that they target to support more women and youths in green jobs and thereby teach them how they can benefit from diversified nature-based livelihoods including apiary and making of briquettes.

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The coordinator says the only way to restore the degraded environment in Rwenzori is by identifying jobs in sectors that reduce pressure on important natural resources for climate resilience.

He adds that the benefiting population largely sits on a highly climate fragile area, combined with high levels of poverty that has placed an increasing pressure on the natural resources. 

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Trine Glue Doan from WWF Denmark says the Rwenzori mountains are the main source of water across the Greater Virunga Landscape -GVL providing water to over 2 million people and supplying irrigation schemes, hydro power stations and domestic water supply. 

However, he notes that the devastating environmental distruction including human activities are hugely affecting the ecological systems on the mountain.

David Dule the country Director WWF-Uganda, says the project adds to their mission of ensuring that Uganda gets a smooth transition to a low carbon development pathway.

He says there is prevailing unstainable use of natural resources with forest cover declaiming from 24% of the total land area in 1990 to 9% in 2018. 

"Natural disasters are expected to increase as the effects of climate change are increasingly felt and therefore our interventions will address community vulnerabilities to increase resilience.” Duli notes.

The Bundibugyo District Chairperson Robert Tibakunirwa says the new project will also help to eliminate illegal and unsustainable timber logging in the region. 

The project comes at the backdrop of a dwindling forest cover, plummeting from 24 per cent of the area in 1990 to nine per cent in 2015, according to a report on the State of Uganda's Forestry.

 

The forest cover now stands at 12.5 per cent, and the target is to replenish it to 24 per cent of the country's landmass by 2040.

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