The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization agency and European Union have intensified support for commercial forest plantation in Uganda.
FAO on behalf of Government of Uganda, has since 2004 been implementing the Saw Log Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) project which is providing technical and financial support to small, medium and large scale in the country.
The scheme funded by EU is now in phase III (2016-2020) is targeting the plantation of 30,000 hectares of new trees.
According to FAO Country Director, Priya Gujadhur, there is enormous pressure on forest cover in Uganda and private commercial forestry investors need to be supported in order to mitigate the adverse effects of deforestation.
“FAO believes that supporting private investment in commercial forests plantation, can help to reduce the pressure in natural resources, particularly forests. We also know that about 96% of the population relies on biomass in Uganda with limited access to energy improved technologies that can allow energy saving,” Ms. Priya said during a recent media dialogue in Kampala.
She stressed that forest is essential for wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits including providing timber, wood fuel and employment to communities.
Forest cover in Uganda has been gradually reducing from 24 percent in 1995, 18 percent in 2005 and to only 9 percent in 2015 according to State of Uganda’s Forestry of 2016.
The EU Operations Advisor for Sustainable Development, Jalia Kobusinge said in the same function that they support the Uganda National Development II of 2015-2020 aiming at restoring forestry cover from 3.6 million hectares (2005 status) to the 1990 level of 4.9 million hectares.
“Uganda’s NDP II is a commitment to the Paris Agreement to increase forest cover in order to contribute to carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation,” she said.