Small-Scale Farmers Reforest Forests in Uganda

Project type: Land Use and Forestry

Project location: Alimugonza & Ongo Forest, Uganda

Project status: In operation, credits available

Annual CO₂ reduction: 452,224 t (2021)

This community led initiative promotes sustainable management of forestry resources encouraging small-scale landholders to reforest and implement community-based forest management plans. This leads to increased biomass and carbon sequestration and reduces emissions from deforestation thereby restoring and conserving biological diversity, while at the same time enhancing social welfare.

The people of Western Uganda are mainly subsistence migrant small-scale farmers who use the forests to satisfy their livelihood needs of water, building materials, medicine and fuel wood. The community forests harbour valuable tree species for timber, poles and other non-timber forest products like papyrus, rattan canes and shrubs, which can yield economic returns to the community. The forests in Masindi are of particular importance as they maintain the only sources of water and provide the connectivity between the different protected areas. This allows wildlife populations to migrate through this natural biological corridor.

Currently, the community forests have very limited protection and decrease continuously due to the expansion of small-scale and large-scale agriculture. The project mobilizes the communities to protect their forest by controlling fires and illegal activities. Forest rehabilitation includes planting of heavily degraded areas and the planting of fuel wood to reduce pressure on existing forests.

Further, the project promotes the development of agroforestry systems of mixed native and naturalised tree species on smallholder lands. As the economic value of the forest increases for farmers they are committed to conserve them. At the same time, deforestation pressure on the surrounding forests is decreased as sustainably grown wood can serve as marketable fuel wood source. In addition, the project is building the resilience of the communities to the effects of climate change through improved land management and diversification of sources of income to reduce dependency on crops vulnerable to droughts thereby contributing to the Millennium Development Goal of improved livelihood.

I'm a millionaire! At least in Ugandan shillings.

Farmer Ojitti Binayo

Micro-loan systems are established in addition to allow capacity building for ecotourism, apiary and crafts-business. The project is strengthening the organisational structures through which the communities can be mobilized to undertake improved forest management laying the foundation for long-term sustainable land-use, which continues to sequester and store carbon in its biomass.


This project contributes to 11 SDGs (as of end 2022):

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The following SDGs are verified by Plan Vivo:

Over USD 4.1 million were paid to 15,119 small farmers and their families.

The project partners with World Vision and USAID to deliver HIV/AIDS initiatives to rural communities.

Protecting the forest contributes to securing clean water sources.

Enables farmers to access energy efficient cook stoves at a subsidised price.

Sequestration of 2,402,499 t CO₂ since project start (2003).

11,462 hectares of forest have been reafforested since the project began. This corresponds to about 16,052 football pitches.

These SDGs have been approved by myclimate:

The security and stability of land ownership is promoted by encouraging community ownership.

In 2018, 55 training sessions on climate-smart farming practices reached 2,297 people.

Women are actively involved in project activities, i.e. in training and the establishment of sustainable enterprises.

The project employs 22 full-time and 69 part-time workers.

7,057 households have improved their adaptation strategies to climate change.

Situation without project

Degradation and deforestation, less CO₂ storage



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