VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINES: Tackling Climate Crisis in Uganda through Tree Planting
31 July 2020
By: John Mary Odoy, CAN-Uganda Board Chair
Uganda’s NDCs National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) emphasizes the need to plant trees as one way of increasing forest coverage which was 21% of total land coverage in Uganda in 1960s, but came down to 14% by 2016. Unabated, the percentage continues to go down.
Ugandan’s Green Growth strategy which is an inclusive low emissions economic growth process that emphasizes effective and efficient use of natural resources, it focuses on green tourism, water resources management and sustainable use of forests and wetlands, as its key strategic interventions to address Climate Change.
In light of the above, several climate actors have embarked on undertaking actions in this regard. One of the activities of tree planting took place on 19th July, 2020, where Climate Action Network-Uganda joined the Kingdom of Buganda through Busiro County, Undugu Youth Empowerment Group and the Franciscan Missionaries in Uganda, Save the Planet and Nurturing Uganda, launched the planting of 5,000 tree seedlings. The launch took place at St.Padre Pio Prayer Centre - Akright in Wakiso District, about 22 km Kampala – Entebbe Highway with 6 symbolic trees planted. The planting of the rest of the 5000 tree seedlings, which are of assorted tree species including fruit and indigenous trees will be done in Busunju in Ssingo County in Central Uganda on a part of the 20 acre piece of land owned by the Franciscan Missionaries, which they have dedicated for tree planting.
In his remarks, John Mary Odoy, the Climate Ambition Ambassador thanked the Undugu Youth Empowerment Group for donating the seedlings worth five million Uganda shillings, the Buganda Kingdom for the support and promotion of tree planting and re afforestation in Buganda Kingdom and beyond, Save the Planet team and Nurturing Uganda for the continuous growing and supply of tree seedlings and the Franciscan Missionaries for committing land to tree planting. John Mary said that the exercise done was in line with global efforts to address the climate crisis and it also corresponds with Uganda’s National framework of getting a greater part of Uganda’s land under tree cover again. He also said that this is a great contribution to driving Uganda into achieving the 22% emission reduction and control the global temperatures to below 2% degrees delicious by 2030.
Sebwana, Eng. Charles Kiberu Kisirinza, the Busiro County Chief, who represented the Kingdom of Buganda reiterated the message by the Kabaka of Buganda that everyone should endeavour to protect and conserve the environment” He also officially handed over the 5,000 seedlings to the Franciscan Missionaries in his capacity as the Busiri County Chief (Sebwwana)
Ms Proscovier Vikman, the Chairperson Buganda Environment Board in the Buganda Kingdom and head of Lay Christians at the St Anthony Prayer Group said that the Church is willing to collaborate with any one, organization or youth group that is addressing challenges of climate change and working towards environment protection and conservation, the church has land and is committed to mobilize members to commit part of their land for indigenous tree planting to restore natural forest cover. The trees planted will bear names as follows; Sebwana (planted by Eng. Charles Kiberu Kisirinza), CAN-Uganda (planted by John Mary), Pope Francis (planted by Rev. Fr. Godwin Ogam), St. Anthony (planted by Ms Proscovier Vikman), TYE (planted by the Youth) and St. Padre Pio (Denis Mpanga)
John Mary Odoy is the NDC/Ambition Champion-Uganda for the Climate Action Network-Uganda
Mobile phone: +256783457990