The National Forestry Authority and Uganda Wildlife Authority will lead implementation of the project aimed at improving monitoring and securing forest and protected areas and community livelihoods in selected areas within the Albertine region.
The government of Uganda
has secured a grant worth 3.3 million Swedish Krona (about UGX12.3 billion)
under a partnership between the World Bank and the government Sweden, towards
effective management of natural and tourism resources sustainably.
This will include activities aimed at enhancing sustainable
livelihoods of communities and also combating effects of climate change.
This comes as the World Bank is awaiting approval by
Uganda’s cabinet and parliament of another USD 148.5 (Uganda shillings 553.6 billion) loan aimed at protecting
forests and protected areas in the country.
The fund to be lent
through the International Development Agency, IDA, has already been approved by
the World Bank.
The Swedish grant will be disbursed over two years through
the Uganda Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), a World Bank-administered fund that
mobilizes donor contributions aimed at promoting an effective implementation of
the National Development Plans and goals of the national Vision 2040.
The Trust Fund complements the World
Bank’s lending, advisory and analytical support, since 2018.
The National Forestry
Authority and Uganda Wildlife Authority will lead implementation of the project
aimed at improving monitoring and securing forest and protected areas and
community livelihoods in selected areas within the Albertine region.
The region, rich with
tourism resources has recently suffered flooding, while the tourism activities
there were highly affected by the covid 19 pandemic. This also meant drastic
reductions in incomes of communities there that rely on tourism.
The Permanent Secretary
at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Doreen Kansiime says
Covid-19 did not only reduce tourism activities, but also saw poaching and encroachment
increase as people sought for alternative sources of livelihood.
// ”Cue in: The covid
ministry and as a government.”//
This grant comes as
different government agencies are under the spotlight over the giveaway of chunks Bugoma
Forest, the largest remaining block for natural forest in the Albertine region,
for sugarcane growing. Most sugar cane farmers have abandoned the crop as the market for refined sugar shrinks and the millers have stopped buying farmers' cane.
According to Tom
Okello, the Executive Director of the National Forest Authority, NFA, they will
continue to fight for the restoration of Bugoma. The case is now before the
court of appeal.
Okello says, this
project targets five protected forests including Bugoma and will involve
enhanced policing and community sensitization.
// “Cue in: We’re
looking at …..
Cue out:….they rarely
Ola Hällgren, the Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy noted
that the government must ensure clear boundaries around protected forests and
wildlife reserves to make it easier to protect them from encroachment.
// “Cue in: Uganda’s forests and protected areas……
Cue out: ……. Fragmentation of natural habitats.”//
The World Bank Uganda Country
Manager, Tony Thompson warns that unless
Uganda’s natural resources especially forest cover and water are protected, 40 percent of the nation’s wealth will be threatened.