Uganda makes progress to spread FMNR
June 18, 2015
When we visited Uganda in 2012, we were shocked by the widespread environmental degradation/deforestation and the resulting flooding and loss of topsoil. From 2009 to 2014, the forest cover in Uganda decreased from 18% to 15% due mainly to clearing for agricultural land, firewood and charcoal production.
Since 2013, the FMNR for East Africa project in Uganda has continued to work with communities, and existing organisations including 31 primary schools, 42 farmers groups, 14 youth groups, non-government organisations and media. This has resulted in FMNR being practiced on at least 2,350 ha and by at least 2,989 people across six World Vision programs. These figures do not include work done by other organisations, which may well be significant.
Children in school environmental clubs rapidly embrace FMNR. The story of Noelina from World Vision Uganda’s FMNR 2014 Annual Report is one example. Noelina persuaded her mother to prune trees on her farm instead of felling them. Leaving the trees has allowed them to harvest medicinal herbs and poles for construction.
The FMNR work within World Vision has been strengthened by strong support from senior leadership. FMNR is to be rolled out in all World Vision Uganda programs and the National Director has a vision for spreading it beyond World Vision’s current operational areas.
In July 2014, a National FMNR conference was held in Kampala including government and non-government organisations. There was a strong desire to form a national network and nine organisations volunteered to form a task force to establish the network.
This task force has met regularly and prepared a constitution, a strategy and a proposal for funding and on 4thJune, 2015, we were privileged to be present for the launch of the network and election of the steering committee. One of the most exciting aspects was that other organisations are clearly already implementing FMNR and were eager to accept the responsibilities involved by accepting positions on the steering committee.
We are in Tanzania now and already have some encouraging news which I will share next time