The government of Uganda launched the implementation of the “Uganda Investing in Forests and Protected Areas for Climate-Smart Development Project (IFPA-CD)”. The project is aimed at improving the sustainable management of forests and protected areas and increasing benefits to targeted communities.
The project will be implemented through various government-established organs among which are the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Antiquities (MTWA), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), National Forestry Authority (NFA), and Local Government/Districts.
The project was approved by the Parliament of Uganda on 28th April 2021 and will be financially supported by the International Development Association (World Bank) and the government of Uganda.
The project objective is to enhance forest and wildlife conservation for the benefit of local communities and the sustenance of their livelihoods and the country’s economy. The project shall be implemented for 6 years and will primarily be demonstrated in 37 districts surrounding 7 National Parks, 4 Wildlife Reserves, and 28 Central Forest Reserves including the 16 Refugee host districts. The remaining District Local Governments shall benefit from the tree planting project component.
The World Bank and the Government of Uganda have injected about US$178M (shs640bn) for the project and Uganda will contribute Shs108bn. About shs280hn will be a loan and about shs250 will be the grant amount.
The project will improve forest protection of 1,157,073 ha, establish 36,500 ha of production forests, restore 32,052 ha of formerly degraded forest land, improve 19,507 ha of land management in refugee host districts and create 22,000 jobs by investments in nature-based tourism and production forestry.
The project is also thought of increasing by 15% revenue from investments in forest-based enterprises and nature-based tourism and enable 250,000 households to have improved incomes and resilient livelihoods.
The project will support the government agenda of increasing forest cover and slowing down the loss and degradation of the nation’s forests.
The project is to be implemented in protected areas of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Semliki National Park, Toro – Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Kibale National Park, Katonga Wildlife Reserve, Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, Murchison Falls National Park, and Ajai Wildlife Reserve.
Among the districts are Hoima, Kikuube, Kamwenge, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Kibaale, Kiryandongo, Kyegegwa, Adjumani, Amuru, Arua, Madi Okollo, Lamwo, Terego, Koboko, Moyo, Obongi, and Yumbe.
And will cover 28 central forest reserve South Maramagambo, Kalinzu, North Maramagambo, Kasyoha-Kitomi, Kakasi, Echuya, Bugoma, Wambabya, Kagombe, Nyakarongo, Budongo, Kasokwa, Era, Otzi East, and Otzi West. Others are: Wati, Mt Kei, Zoka, Itwara, Kibego, Muhangi, Buhungiro, Ibambaro, Kitechura, Matiri, Nkera and Rwensambya.
Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Environment, noted that while the World Bank has supported the water and environment sector for a long time, the project was the first significant investment by way of loan to the sector. He thanked the World Bank for the investment and saluted the government for prioritizing environmental conservation and efforts to mitigate climate change effects. He went on to note that the IFPA-CD Project will greatly contribute to the water and environment sector because it emphasizes forest protection, reforestation, and afforestation.
The IFPA-CD Project preparation builds on the national REDD+ Readiness processes during which a national REDD+ Strategy and National Forest Plan (FIP) were prepared, through a wider stakeholder consultation process. The National REDD+ Strategy includes 8 REDD+ Strategy Options which have formed the basis for identifying appropriate interventions to be supported by the Project.