Project type: Land Use and Forestry
Project location: Alimugonza & Ongo Forest, Uganda
Annual CO₂ reduction: 133,360 (2017)
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.
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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.