The Ministry of Water and Environment has Wednesday introduced a communication equipment to bolster the sensitization campaign on reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD Plus).
The drive seeks to address the problem of increasing climate change, in addition to continuous government warnings to encroachers in both gazetted swamps and forests to leave them.
While unveiling the apparatus at the Ministry Head Offices in Luzira, Alfred Okidi, the Permanent Secretary said that as a ministry they take environmental hazards seriously, which is why they have put in place tough measures.
Okidi also called upon the public and media to participate in the campaign against environmental degradation.
“Media should shame those engaging in degradation for selfish and personnel gains. Our policy is zero tolerance to environmental degradation activities; we have started cancelling titles in forests and swamps,” he said.
“REDD plus must be felt in all homes. That’s why this cause must not rest only with the ministry. Everyone must take it up to ensure that we reduce emissions, tackle deforestation as we embrace afforestation.”
Margret Athieno Mwebesa, the National Focal Point for REDD plus, revealed that many people are celebrating the outcomes of deforestation without minding about its effects.
“It’s worrying to see that in 1990 the green vegetation cover of Uganda was at 24% but by 2015 it had decreased to 9%.”
Gaster Kiyingi, one of the developers of the equipment, which includes audio and visual work on CDs, Booklets, leaflets and stickers has revealed that the gadget can produce information in all languages thus easing communication.
The people who are targeted in this REDD plus implementation include Forest users like indigenous people, forest independent communities, Forest land owners, tree farmers, civil society organization, government agencies, project developers as well as investors.