Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43
Govt to Recruit Parish Forest Officers, Strengthen Tree Harvesting Permits :: Uganda Radionetwork
Breaking

Govt to Recruit Parish Forest Officers, Strengthen Tree Harvesting Permits

Katwesige noted that the parish foresters will be serving as extension workers and are expected to help our communities in all tree planting, caring and harvesting challenges in addition to roles of planning and directing activities that develop and protect forest environments.

Audio 2

The Ministry of Water and Environment is moving to recruit parish forest officers in addition to strengthening tree harvesting permits as one of the means to curb the ever-increasing tree cutting in the country.

The development has been revealed by Issa Katwesige, the assistant commissioner of forestry at the Ministry of Water and Environment who was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a marathon dubbed run4climate organised by Tree Adoption Uganda.

Katwesige noted that the parish foresters will be serving as extension workers and are expected to help our communities in all tree planting, caring and harvesting challenges in addition to roles of planning and directing activities that develop and protect forest environments.

//Cue in; “Equipping these people…

Cue out…forest degradation.”//

The Assistant commissioner, however, notes that due to financial limitations, the government has decided to start the recruitment exercise at sub country level and later rollout to the parish.  “Government will soon issue a structure providing for these posts. I can assure you that effective July this year, we will start deploying these foresters,” he added.

The said foresters are also expected to play a central role in the strengthening of the tree harvesting permits since they will be deployed close to the communities making it easy to spot, enforce and follow up on any issue regarding tree harvesting. 

According to the law, no person is allowed to cut a tree regardless of whether it is in a public forest or private property without notifying authorities. However, due to little awareness and absence of enforcement, such rules have been disregarded.

Katwesige says that the permits have much been enforced in gazetted forests leaving out private forests and trees yet statistics show much of the depleted forest cover is situated on private land with many cutting them without replacing them as required.

//Cue in; “Cutting your tree…

Cue out…forest services.”//

According to him, with the foresters deployed to strengthen tree harvesting licensing will not only increase the money obtained from tree harvesting at all levels but also act as another safeguard of ensuring that people follow the right procedure while cutting trees and control the rate of deforestation.  

In the past 25 years, Uganda is said to have lost 63 percent of its forest cover due to tree-cutting for firewood, timber and charcoal, as well as the growth of farms and towns, according to the National Forest Authority.

According to the National Forestry Authority in 1990 the country had 24 percent of the total land coverage under forests but by 2013 this had been reduced to only 9 percent. Statistics also show that the country is currently losing an average of 122,000 hectares of forest cover annually.

With recent efforts, there has been a slight change that saw the forest cover rise from 9 percent to 12.4 percent at the end of 2020. In a bid to raise the forest cover to at least 15 percent by 2026, the government notes that there is a need to plant and care for at least 40 million trees every year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Charles Batte the Chief Executive Officer, Tree Adoption Uganda notes that if the government is to reach its tree-planting target and reafforestation of the country, there is a need to involve all citizens.

“Restoration was needed as early as yesterday because Uganda has lost a lot of its forest cover, meaning that we do not have the sync for the carbon that pollutes the atmosphere leading to global warming. But, trees are cut by people; it's people who can report those who are illegally clearing our forests. Therefore, the government needs to involve the people,” said Dr. Batte.

Batte noted that it’s each and everyone’s responsibility to ensure our landscapes are restored and the forests are restored to play their ecosystem functions. He further added that his organisation intends to plant and look after 100000 this year alone. the said trees will be planted in greater lower districts.

Support us