The Uganda Wild Life Authority has today launched Investing in Forests and Protected Areas for Climate-Smart Development (IFPA-CD) Project at the National Forestry Authority in Bugolobi, Kampala.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) was joined by partners and agencies to launch the World Bank-funded IFPA-CD Project under the theme ‘Invest in Nature, Secure the Future’
Several dignitaries graced the occasion including UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha, World Bank country manager R. Mukami Kariuki, Cabinet Minister of Water and Environment Sam Cheptoris, Director Conservation John Makombo among others.
During the launch, the cabinet minister for water and environment, who officially launched the project, extended his thanks to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) for fulfilling the mandate made in its manifesto.
‘We are grateful that this project has come. The NRM government, in its manifesto, made commitments to plan to plant 200 million seedlings over a period of five years to maintain and increase the country’s national resource base,’ said Hon. Cheptoris.
Hon Cheptoris, who was representing the Vice President, continued to state that the Project seeks to contribute towards the realization of the NRM that prioritizes the importance forests play in sustaining natural ecosystems.
The six-year project started in August 2021 and the forest cover has so far gone from 9% to 12.5% where the private and government bodies have planted forests.
The financial and economic contributions made by forests include, tourism services, biodiversity, and many ecosystem services that have global importance.
Also speaking at the launch was World Bank country director to Uganda, R. Mukami Kariuki who stated that the World Bank is committed to supporting Uganda.
‘The World Bank Group is committed to supporting Uganda to obtain the potential of forests and terrestrial ecosystems, reduce poverty, contribute to economic growth, and protect and strengthen the environmental services,’ stated the country manager.
Mukami Kariuki also stated that the project will help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through the forestry sector.
‘There are transformational investments regarding building resilience to climate change, such as mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through the forestry sector activities, and the project shall deliver some mitigating impacts,’ said Ms. Kariuki.
She said that the World Bank is well aware of how important Uganda’s natural resources are for the economy and rural population who rely on them for their livelihoods and vowed to support the initiative to help benefit all Ugandans.
According to Margaret Athieno Mwebasa, the National Project Coordinator, the total project will cost US$ 178.3 with financing from three parties including the Ugandan government which will contribute US$30million.
The overall project aim is to address the problem of increased vulnerability of economic productivity, biodiversity & livelihoods to climate change effects due to declining forest ecosystem goods and services.
Uganda’s aspiration as a country is to restore forest cover to 24% of land cover by 2040.