By Ben Musanje
24th Nov 2021
Civil Society Organizations – CSOs have laid out their suggestions they believe should be included in the ongoing Forestry Policy review.
The Government of Uganda has already started the process for reviewing the policy which has a long history of 1900, 1929, 1988 and 2001.
Addressing the press conference at the Ecological Christian Organization –ECO, the Organization Programs Officer for Environment and Climate Change Anthony Wolimbwa says that they seek to have changes in policy including the dwindling status of Uganda’s forest resources, decline of forests resource base like encroachments on forest reserves land and land grabbing among others.
According to Wolimbwa, the proposed changes for the review are; Land and forestry tenure, private sector engagement in private forestry, biomass energy development and utilization particularly charcoal and firewood, Forest certification and forest valuation, Carbon tenure and benefit sharing from carbon trade.
He further discloses that the country is losing between 60,000 to 80,000 hectares of forests annually of which 70% of the lost forest estates are on private land while 15% is managed by the districts and the National Forestry Authority.
Meanwhile, Gaster Kiyinji, a member for the Uganda Forestry Working Group opposes the recent Cabinet directive of evicting encroachers in the government forest reserves, lakeshores and riverbanks saying that this hasn’t happened in Uganda where such issues are politicized.