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Trees, forests and woodlands cover about 14% of Uganda’s land surface. Over the last 30–40 years, growth in human population and corresponding increase in demand for forest products for domestic and industrial use, expansion of agricultural land, illegal settlements and weak forest management capacity have adversely affected the status of natural forests in Uganda, particularly the biodiversity. Until recently, little attention had been paid to development of commercial forests which should have provided alternative forest products and services to relieve the pressure on natural forests and conserve biodiversity. As a result, Uganda’s forests have been degraded, and in some cases, the biodiversity has been eroded. There is a need for regular data collection and monitoring of the status of the forests in terms of areal extent, distribution, plantation species introductions and biodiversity. Arbres, bois et forêts couvrent environ 14% de la superficie terrestre de l’Ouganda. Au cours des 30 à 40 dernières années, la croissance de la population humaine et la demande correspondante de produits forestiers à usages domestique et industriel, l’expansion des terres agricoles, les installations illégales et de médiocres capacités de gestion forestière ont eu des effets néfastes sur l’état des forêts ougandaises, et spécialement sur leur biodiversité. Jusqu’il y a peu, l’on avait accordé que peu d’attention au développement de forêts commerciales qui auraient dû fournir des produits et des services forestiers alternatifs, afin de soulager la pression exercée sur les forêts naturelles et de préserver la biodiversité. Par conséquent, les forêts ougandaises sont dégradées et, dans certains cas, la biodiversité est touchée. Il faut collecter des données régulières et suivre le statut des forêts en termes d’étendue, de distribution, d’introduction d’espèces plantées et de biodiversité.
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Review article
Status of forests in Uganda
Joseph Obua
1
*, Jacob G. Agea
2
and Joseph Jones Ogwal
3
1
The Inter-University Council for East Africa, PO Box 7110 Kampala,
2
Department of Community Forestry, Makerere University, PO Box 7062
Kampala and
3
Ministry of Water and Environment, PO Box 7096, Kampala, Uganda
Abstract
Trees, forests and woodlands cover about 14% of Uganda’s
land surface. Over the last 30–40 years, growth in human
population and corresponding increase in demand for
forest products for domestic and industrial use, expansion
of agricultural land, illegal settlements and weak forest
management capacity have adversely affected the status of
natural forests in Uganda, particularly the biodiversity.
Until recently, little attention had been paid to develop-
ment of commercial forests which should have provided
alternative forest products and services to relieve the
pressure on natural forests and conserve biodiversity. As a
result, Uganda’s forests have been degraded, and in some
cases, the biodiversity has been eroded. There is a need for
regular data collection and monitoring of the status of the
forests in terms of areal extent, distribution, plantation
species introductions and biodiversity.
Key words: conservation, forest, management, reserves,
status, Uganda
Re
´sume
´
Arbres, bois et fore
ˆts couvrent environ 14% de la superficie
terrestre de l’Ouganda. Au cours des 30 a
`40 dernie
`res
anne
´es, la croissance de la population humaine et la
demande correspondante de produits forestiers a
`usages
domestique et industriel, l’expansion des terres agricoles, les
installations ille
´gales et de me
´diocres capacite
´s de gestion
forestie
`re ont eu des effets ne
´fastes sur l’e
´tat des fore
ˆts
ougandaises, et spe
´cialement sur leur biodiversite
´. Jusqu’il y
a peu, l’on avait accorde
´que peu d’attention au de
´velopp-
ement de fore
ˆts commerciales qui auraient duˆ fournir des
produits et des services forestiers alternatifs, afin de soulager
la pression exerce
´e sur les fore
ˆts naturelles et de pre
´server la
biodiversite
´. Par conse
´quent, les fore
ˆts ougandaises sont
de
´grade
´es et, dans certains cas, la biodiversite
´est touche
´e. Il
faut collecter des donne
´es re
´gulie
`res et suivre le statut des
fore
ˆts en termes d’e
´tendue, de distribution, d’introduction
d’espe
`ces plante
´es et de biodiversite
´.
Introduction
The term forest refers to a type of vegetation dominated
by trees most of which at maturity are more than 5 m
tall and establishes a minimum tree canopy cover of 30%
(National Forestry Authority, 2008). It includes all
alpine, tropical high- and medium-altitude forests,
woodlands, wetland and riparian forests, plantations and
trees, whether on public or private land (Ministry of
Water, Lands and Environment, 2001). For an area to be
considered a forest, it should have a tree cover of at least
20% or more and the area should not be <0.5 ha in size
(National Environment Management Authority,
2004 2005). On the other hand, a woodland is an area
predominantly covered with woody plants, trees over
4 m high, shrubs and grasses. When discussing the sta-
tus of forests in Uganda, woodlands are also included
because many forests have extensive woody species
coverage. On the other hand, tree cover in grasslands
and woodlands may increase because of dynamics in the
faunal populations leading to formation of a forest.
Forests that are found on public land are referred to as
forest reserves. A forest reserve is an area of land that is
reserved by law for forestry purposes, including protection
*Correspondence: E-mail: j.obua@vicres.net
2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Afr. J. Ecol. 1
of ecologically important areas and production of forest
goods and services. Forest reserves also include bushlands
and grasslands within the reserved land.
Of the total of 4.9 million hectares of forests and
woodlands in Uganda, 64% (1, 265, 471 ha) are found
outside the Permanent Forest Estate (PFE), (land set aside
for forestry activities in perpetuity, managed by private
landowners and regulated by local governments). The PFE
is 1.9 million ha, of which 61.4% is managed by the
National Forestry Authority (NFA), 33.6% is managed
by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA); 4.7% of the PFE is
jointly managed by NFA and UWA and 0.3% by local
governments. The central forest reserves (CFRs) were
reserved to provide forest products, amenity and recrea-
tion, conserve biodiversity, ameliorate climate, stabilize
soils, and protect water catchments and steep slopes,
riverbanks and lakeshores.
Uganda’s forest reserves were gazetted with the aim of
ensuring continuous supply of forest goods and services
to the people of Uganda. Since the establishment of the
Forestry and Scientific Department in 1890, forestland
was reserved for research, protection of ecological systems
and future supply of forest products. As early as the
1930s, the inadequate supplies of forest products and
deteriorating ecological functions were foreseen, and
mitigation measures put in place although these
measures have not prevented the degradation and loss of
forests.
The functions of CFRs remain largely the same as
stipulated in the Forestry Policy of 2001 and the National
Tree Panting and Forest Act of 2003. However, there
have been weaknesses in forest governance associated
with implementation of policies and laws. CFRs become
the targets for forest crime during periods of political
campaigns elections, often with the tacit support of the
politicians seeking votes. At the same time, institutional
issues of corruption and inadequate capacity to manage
forests are still persistent.
The principle of ‘Man and the Biosphere’ has been
applied in the management of Uganda’s natural forests in
which the forests have been zoned into nature reserves
(20% of the forest is protected), protection buffer zone
where low-impact uses are permitted (30%) and the pro-
duction zone for controlled production of timber and other
forest products (50%). Sixty-five CFRs with a total area of
840,100 ha are part of a network of sites of special sci-
entific interest that are critical for biodiversity conservation
in Uganda.
Country setting
Uganda is a landlocked country lying astride the equator
between latitudes 130¢South and 4North and longitudes
2930¢and 35East (National Environment Management
Authority, 2004 2005). It covers an area of about
241,500 km
2
of the central African plateau north of Lake
Victoria. The central part of the country is characterized by
a gentle topography of flat-topped hills and broad swampy
valleys lying at an altitude of 1000–1500 m above sea
level (Howard, 1991). Uganda has a diverse climate
influenced by the country’s latitudinal position, altitude
and topography. Seasonal movements of the Inter-Tropical
Convergence Zone determine the general pattern of rain-
fall. Much of the country receives between 1000 and
1500 mm per annum except in Karamoja in the north-
east that receives 750 mm per annum. The mountainous
areas of Rwenzori and Elgon and the islands in Lake Vic-
toria receive about 2000 mm per annum. The mean
temperatures vary from 18 to 20C in the highlands of the
south-west and eastern borders to 25–30C in the rift
valley and plains of northern Uganda. Climatic conditions
favourable to forest formation are found in parts of the
southern half of the country where rainfall exceeds
1150 mm per annum and evenly distributed throughout
the year. The tropical high forests are found in three dis-
tinct geographical zones: the zone lying along the eastern
rim of the rift valley escarpment in the west of the country,
in a broad belt around the north-western shores of Lake
Victoria, and on the scattered mountains (Moroto, Kadam
and Elgon) in the east of the country.
The importance of Uganda’s forests
Forests are of immense importance to Ugandans. The NFA
report of 2008 indicates that in 2004, the total economic
value of Uganda’s forests, including all marketable and
nonmarketable values, was estimated at Uganda shillings
(Ushs) 593.24 billion (USD 304 million at the exchange
rate of USD 1 = Ushs. 1920), equivalent to about 5.2% of
the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Forests and trees con-
tribute Uganda shillings 332.3 billion (US$173 million) to
the total annual incomes of the households in Uganda. The
Forest Sector Review Report (Ministry of Water, Lands and
Environment, 2001) indicates that wood and nonwood
products removed from the forest for subsistence use are
about Ushs. 210 billion (USD 109 million) or 2.75% of the
GDP. Thus, the overall contribution of forests is about 6%
2Joseph Obua et al.
2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Afr. J. Ecol.
of the GDP. Forests and woodlands also provide a number
of environmental services and direct benefits to agricul-
ture, water and fisheries sectors. These include the value of
watershed and ground water protection, erosion control
and carbon sequestration. These benefits are estimated at
about Ushs. 112 billion or 1.45% of the GDP.
Uganda’s forest types
Uganda’s natural forests vary in structure and composition
in different parts of the country. The differences are because
of the altitudes at which the forests occur, soil types,
drainage and past human activities. Many areas presently
designated as forest reserves have a long history of human
occupancy. Old cultivation plots and fire-maintained
grazing lands have been colonized by trees and represent
young colonising forest types. In the Lake Victoria region,
Kibale and Kasyoha-Kitomi along the western rift valley,
many forests have grown up and expanded in the areas
that were abandoned in the last century because of
rinderpest, sleeping sickness or tribal wars (Dale, 1954;
Langdale-Brown, Osmaston & Wilson, 1964; Hamilton,
1984).
Langdale-Brown, Osmaston & Wilson (1964) classified
Uganda’s forest types into medium altitude–moist-ever-
green forest, medium altitude–moist-semi-deciduous forest
and high-altitude forest. The medium altitude moist-ever-
green forest is structurally complex and rich in species
including many lianas, epiphytes and large trees (Howard,
1991). The three sub-types are named after the dominant
trees, namely Peptadeniastrum-Uapaca type which occurs
on Sese Islands in Lake Victoria, Peptadeniastrum-Albizia-
Celtis which are found on the slightly drier lake shores and
the Parinari excelsa type that are found along the western
rift valley between 1000 and 1500 m above sea level.
The medium altitude–moist-semi-deciduous forests are
found in areas where the dry season is longer and more
severe. The four sub-types are Celtis-Chrysophyllum forest
found in the drier areas to the north of Lake Victoria,
Cynometra-Celtis forest of lower altitude zones along the
western rift, Albizia-Milicia excelsa forest to the north of
Lake Victoria and the Albizia-Markhamia forest which
occurs in the mid-west at altitudes of 1200–1500 m. The
high-altitude forest occurs above 1500 m and tends to be
less species rich than those found at lower altitudes. The
forest has broken and irregular canopy characterized by
trees of low stature. Prunus moist sub-type is found in
south-western Uganda and in the Mt.Elgon area. The sub-
type merges into Arundinaria montane bamboo forest zone
at 2300–2750 m and or Hagenia-Rapenea forest zone of
low trees above 2750 m. On the drier northern slopes of
Mt. Elgon and the Karamoja Mountains Juniperus-Podo-
carpus dry montane sub-type is found between 1500 and
2750 m.
The extent and ownership of forests in Uganda
There are 4.9 million hectares of natural forests and
woodlands in Uganda, which cover 24% of the land area
(National Environment Management Authority, 2002).
Eighty-one per cent (3,974,000 ha) of this is woodland,
19% (924,000) is tropical high forest and <1%
(35,000 ha) is forest plantations (National Forestry
Authority, 2008). Table 1 shows the ownership of Ugan-
da’s forested areas, including tropical high forests, wood-
lands and plantations. The NFA and the UWA manage
Table 1 Areas (hectares) of forest and woodland under different ownership and management categories
Land cover
Government land Private land
TotalForest reserves
National parks &
Wildlife Reserves Private & Customary land
Tropical high forest 306,000 267,000 351,000 924,000
Woodlands 411,000 462,000 3,102,000 3,975,000
Plantations 20,000 2,000 11,000 33,000
Total forest 737,000 731,000 3,464,000 4,932,000
Other cover types 414,000 1,167,000 13,901,000 15,482,000
Total land 1,151,000 1,898,000 17,365,000 20,414,000
Source: Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment (2001)
Status of forests in Uganda 3
2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Afr. J. Ecol.
almost equal areas of forested land while the woodlands
are largely under private ownership.
Early attempts to document the status of forests
in Uganda
Attempts to formally document the status of forests in
Uganda date as far back as the 1950s when Eggeling &
Dale (1951) and the Flora of Tropical East Africa (1952).
Other efforts by Synnott (1971) generated a list of plant
species (including trees) in some forests of western Uganda.
Hamilton (1984) published a book on Deforestation in
Uganda and provided useful insights into the status of
Uganda’s forests. Hamilton noted that despite some taxo-
nomic uncertainties, there were only 450 known forest
trees in Uganda. He attributed the distribution of forest
plants and animals in Uganda to modern environmental
conditions and changes in climate during the last ice age
(more than 12,000 years ago). Hamilton predicted the
future of forestry in Uganda and observed that ever since
the introduction of agriculture nearly 2500 years ago,
forests have been cleared to make way for agricultural
crops and pasture, a process that still continues, so that
even the remaining forest patches are shrinking fast. In the
savannah and wooded agricultural lands, trees are being
cut for firewood, charcoal and other products. He noted
that there are many places that supported considerable
number of trees in the last 40 years which today are
almost treeless.
A comprehensive account of the biodiversity status of
the natural forests has been given by Howard (1991) in
view of the increasing human activities such as
encroachment, illegal settlement and uncontrolled exploi-
tation of the forests. With the support of the World Con-
servation Union (IUCN), he carried out an inventory of
twelve principal forest reserves in Uganda and reported
that there are 427 tree species, 329 forest bird species,
twelve diurnal forest primate species and 71 species of
forest butterflies and charaxes (Table 2). Building on
Howard’s work, in 1996, the Forest Department published
a series of biodiversity reports in Uganda’s forest reserves
based on biodiversity indicator species (trees, birds, but-
terflies, mammals and primates) inventory data.
Changes in Uganda’s forest cover
The current status of forests in Uganda is a product of
changes in the forest cover because of degradation and
Table 2 The number of species belonging to four biodiversity indicator groups from Uganda’s twelve principal forest reserves
Indicator
group
Maximum
Possible
number of
species Kibale Semliki Budongo
Kalinzu-
Maramagambo Bungoma
Bwindi
Impenetrable
Kasyoha-
Kitomi Itwara
Sango
Bay Mabira
Mt.
Elgon Rwenzori
Trees 427 209 168 240 242 158 163 204 143 170 202 112 75
Birds 329 177 216 159 181 144 214 104 87 119 151 144 89
Primates 12 8 8 5 6 6 7 6 6 6 2 2 4
Butterflies 71 45 51 42 40 42 57 21 25 45 39 36 15
Howard (1991)
4Joseph Obua et al.
2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Afr. J. Ecol.
deforestation during the past century. According to the
FAO (1997, 2001), the forest cover may have been as
much as 10.8 million hectares (53%) of Uganda’s land
area in 1890. The National Environment Management
Authority (2004 2005) reported that Uganda’s tropical
high forest cover dwindled from 12.5% of the total land
area to 3% in 1987. The National Biomass Study data
collected between 1989 and 1995 indicate that this has
now shrunk to <5 million hectares or 24% of the land area
(Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, 2001).
According to the National Forestry Authority (2008),
Uganda’s forest and woodland cover has dropped from
4.9 million hectares (20% of Uganda’s land area) in 1990
to 3.6 million (14%) in 2005. This represents a 1.9%
deforestation rate, which is slightly higher than in other
Eastern Africa countries whose rate is below 1%. On pri-
vate lands, nearly 1.3 million hectares have been lost over
the last 15 years while 91,000 ha have been lost in CFRs,
confirming that forests on private lands are fast disap-
pearing.
The quality of the tropical high forest, in terms of
number of species and trees, has also declined over time
with well over 30% being classified as degraded. Although
there is no clear definition or measurement of this degra-
dation, oral accounts from experienced foresters indicate
that 75% of Uganda’s principal forest reserves have been
degraded by heavy mechanical and uncontrolled pit-saw-
ing. In 2000, deforestation rate in Uganda was estimated
at 55,000 hectares (0.9%) per annum based on change in
areas of bushland and woodland from 1990 to 1995.
Other estimates of deforestation rates are 1.10–3.15% per
annum.
The State of the Environment Report of 2002 indicates
that data on the trends in tree cover change and defores-
tation are not consistent because they were not collected in
some years (National Environment Management Author-
ity, 2002). Estimates by the Forest Department show that
by 2002, Uganda was losing about 200,000 hectares of
forest annually. Of a total of 1.17 million hectares of
CFRs, 58,000 hectares (5%) had been degraded or
depleted. Overall, 14 of 500 forest reserves had been
degraded. Table 3 shows changes in forest cover between
1990 and 2005.
Several causes of forest degradation and deforestation in
Uganda have been documented key among which is
breakdown in law and order between 1970 and 1986,
conversion to agricultural land and other land uses,
increase in demand for forest products for domestic and
commercial purposes, higher demand for construction and
furniture timber and weak law enforcement and policy
implementation. About 3,436,000 ha of forests found on
private land have been degraded because the landowners
regard the forest as a major source of income, and poten-
tial agricultural and grazing land. Charcoal, fuel wood,
poles and timber are uncontrollably extracted from these
forests. The high human population growth rate of 3.4%
per annum (Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2002), and
expanding human settlement (urban and rural) have also
been responsible for the high rate of deforestation in
Uganda as forests are cleared to give way to spatial agri-
cultural expansion and settlement. In general, annual rate
of deforestation is highest in the woodlands (2.1%) and
lowest in the relatively well-stocked tropical moist forests
(0.3%).
The National Environment Management Authority
(2004 2005) has documented a number of underlying
factors that have contributed to the decline in the quality
and extent of Uganda’s forest resources. First, some forest
land was lost as a result of postindependent government
policy to increase agricultural production between 1960
and 1970. Extensive woodlands were at the same time
cleared for livestock production. Second, there are policy
Table 3 Changes (ha) in forest cover in Uganda between 1990 and 2005
Year Land cover use
Broadleaved
plantations
Conifer
plantations
THF well
stocked
THF low
stocked Woodland Total forest cover
1990 18,682 16,384 650,150 274,057 3,974,102 4,933,375
2005 14,593 17,174 616,307 187,420 2,719,102 3,554,594
Change in area )4,089 790 )33,843 )86,637 )1,255,000 )1,378,781
Change in area per year )273 53 )2,256 )5,776 )83,667 )91,919
% change in area )22% 5% )5% )32% )32% )28%
% change per year )1.5% 0.3% )0.3% )2.1% )2.1% )1.9%
Source: National Forestry Authority (2008).
Status of forests in Uganda 5
2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Afr. J. Ecol.
deficiencies relating to the private sector and local com-
munities over land tenure, access rights and responsibili-
ties for resource management. Third, market failures such
as inappropriate royalty rates, poor market information,
trade restrictions and hidden subsidies which distort the
markets for forest products have in the past affected the
forest resource base. Fourth, although environmental and
forest regulation has improved considerably at the central
government level, at the local level, the institutional
structure to regulate environmental and forest manage-
ment is weak because of inadequate funding for operations
and development. Fifth, the failure of government to pro-
vide alternative energy sources has increased the demand
for biomass energy. Sixth, rural poverty restricts the ability
of local communities to invest in sustainable land use
practices, and lack of alternative livelihood options has
resulted in continued dependence on forest resources.
Seventh, and probably the most important, is the gov-
ernment policy on modernization of the economy. The
policy promotes fast economic growth and rural transfor-
mation centred largely on agriculture. The desire for fast
economic growth triggered government decisions to
degazette forest reserves and the land given to investors
under the guise of increasing agricultural production in
spite of public disapproval and resentment. The degazetting
of Butamira and Bugala Island forests recently are clear
testimonies to this. On Bugala Island in Lake Victoria, over
6000 hectares of relatively undisturbed natural forest
have been cleared to give way to oil palm growing. Mabira
forest reserve on the Kampala–Jinja highway is still at risk
of being given away for sugar cane growing. In the affected
areas, economic reasons are often given to justify conver-
sion of forest land to agricultural land. The perceived
notion is that the forests yield lower social rate of return
than agriculture for the same unit area of land.
The drive for a modern economy has also been coupled
with a significant increase in construction of residential,
commercial and institutional buildings that use millions of
bricks burnt with thousands of tonnes of firewood. Timber
for construction is also on high demand and much of it
comes from the natural forests. Furthermore, the majority
of industries are agro-based and some like tea processing,
sugar production, tobacco curing, bakeries and fish pro-
cessing require huge quantities of firewood. Although all
these indicate the economic importance of forests to
Uganda, they at the same time show the detrimental effects
of social and economic activities on Uganda’s forest and
tree cover.
Concluding remarks
The status of Uganda’s forests cannot be discussed without
referring to issues of governance, poverty alleviation and
human population growth. Although Uganda’s forest
policy is well articulated, its implementation is weak be-
cause of inadequate resource allocation and political
interference that are highly detrimental to good forest
management and conservation. Uganda’s poverty eradi-
cation action plan has been well intentioned but has
achieved little because of inadequate resources. As such,
millions of resource poor Ugandans still depend on envi-
ronmental resources such as trees and forests as the most
readily accessible and valuable resources for personal
acquisition and exploitation for income and to sustain their
livelihoods. Unless great progress is made in addressing
poverty and livelihoods situation in Uganda, especially
household income enhancement, pressure on the forests
will continue to grow and the remaining forests will be
degraded and lost.
Uganda’s forests can also be saved if sufficient resources
are allocated to the NFA to manage, conserve and ensure
their sustainable utilization. The forest sector has been
inadequately financed over the last four decades, along
with other environmental services. Despite the recent
establishment of the National Environment Management
Authority (NEMA) and the NFA as governmental agencies
responsible for implementation of environmental systems
of control, low expenditure on the environment and for-
estry has contributed to their deterioration and this has in
turn aggravated social tensions between these agencies
and the local communities relying on environment and
forest resources. A greater commitment by government
and more financial support is required to manage and
conserve Uganda’s forests. As noted by Hamilton (1984), a
loud and clear voice in favour of forests and trees is needed
to assist the work of the NFA, so too is a firm commitment
by government to conserve and manage forests.
The NFA needs to regularly monitor the status of plan-
tation forests in terms of tree species being planted, their
survival and productivity in the different agroecological
zones. Although government has gazetted a national tree
planting day after the enactment of the Forest and Tree
Planting Act 2003, the increase in tree planting interest in
the last 10–15 years cannot be wholly attributed to it.
Furthermore, NFA together with the UWA and the NEMA
should monitor and report the status of the natural
forests both in and outside the protected areas and the
6Joseph Obua et al.
2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Afr. J. Ecol.
information made available to stakeholders in the forestry
sector. Such information will indicate the performance of
the trees species and whether or not there is an increase in
tree cover and acreage. Accurate and reliable information
is needed to inform debates, discussions and decision
making on forest management and conservation in
Uganda.
Lastly, there have been efforts by the NEMA and the
NFA to report the status of Uganda’s forests in terms of
changes in forest cover. This is not enough because the
report on status of forests should also include information
on the number of biodiversity indicator species such as
trees, birds, mammals, primates and butterflies. Without
such information, it is impossible to apply measures that
can enhance forest management and conservation that
should lead to sustained benefits of forests for the current
and future generations.
References
Dale, I.R. (1954) Forest spread and climatic change in Uganda
during the Christian era. Emp. For. Rev 33, 23–29.
Eggeling, W.J. & Dale, I.R. (1951) The indigenous trees of the Uganda
Protectorate, 2nd edn. Government Printer, Entebbe.
Fao (1997) State of the World’s forests. FAO, Rome.
Fao (2001) Forest Resources Assessment. FAO, Rome.
Hamilton, A.C. (1984) Deforestation in Uganda. Oxford University
Press, East & Central Africa.
Howard, P.C. (1991) Nature Conservation in Uganda’s Tropical
Forest Reserves. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
Langdale-Brown, I., Osmaston, H.A. & Wilson, G. (1964) THE
VEGETATION OF Uganda and its bearing on land use. Uganda
Government Printer, Entebbe.
Ministry of Water,Lands and Environment (2001). Forest Sector
Review Report. Unpublished report, Government of Uganda,
158 pp.
National Environment Management Authority (2002) State of the
Environment Report for Uganda. Government of Uganda, Kam-
pala.
National Environment Management Authority (2004 2005) State
of the Environment Report for Uganda. Government of Uganda,
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National Forestry Authority (2008) Strategic action plan for the
period 2008 9 to 2012 13 with priorities for the first five years.
Government of Uganda, Kampala.
Synnott, T.J. (1971) Annotated list of the perennial woody vege-
tation of the West Ankole forests. Uganda J. 35, 1–12.
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(Manuscript accepted 24 March 2010)
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2010.01217.x
Status of forests in Uganda 7
2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Afr. J. Ecol.
... e fact that just a handful of forest reserves in Uganda act as the natural habitats of C. articulata could have farreaching implications. In Uganda, 61.4% of forest reserves are managed by the National Forestry Authority (NFA), whereas 33.6% are managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), while 4.7% are jointly managed by NFA and UWA and 0.3% by local governments [6]. Under the management of National Forestry Authority, Central Forest Reserves (CFRs) were set aside to provide forest products, recreation, protect and conserve biodiversity, stabilize soils, and improve climate and protect water catchments, among others [6,7]; this includes the likes of Budongo and Mabira Central Forest Reserves. ...
... In Uganda, 61.4% of forest reserves are managed by the National Forestry Authority (NFA), whereas 33.6% are managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), while 4.7% are jointly managed by NFA and UWA and 0.3% by local governments [6]. Under the management of National Forestry Authority, Central Forest Reserves (CFRs) were set aside to provide forest products, recreation, protect and conserve biodiversity, stabilize soils, and improve climate and protect water catchments, among others [6,7]; this includes the likes of Budongo and Mabira Central Forest Reserves. Despite the measures put in place by NFA to protect central forest reserves as stipulated in the forestry policy, prohibited activities such as illegal logging, charcoal production, and illicit harvest of nontimber forest products (NFTPs) still persist in most central forest reserves. ...
... Despite the measures put in place by NFA to protect central forest reserves as stipulated in the forestry policy, prohibited activities such as illegal logging, charcoal production, and illicit harvest of nontimber forest products (NFTPs) still persist in most central forest reserves. is in part is attributable to the management weaknesses such as weak law enforcement resulting from limited staffing [6,8]. e predicament is further compounded by the location of some forests near metropolitan areas in addition to having settlement enclaves within the forest reserve boundaries; case in point is Mabira Central Forest Reserve. ...
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Citropsis articulata is a medicinal plant that is increasingly threatened by unsustainable methods of harvesting and habitat degradation. Owing to the fact that this plant species is highly utilized for herbal medicine and is currently restricted to a few forest reserves in Uganda, this has significant implications for ex situ conservation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess how physiographical factors influence the occurrence and distribution of C. articulata in the three forest reserves in Uganda, namely, Budongo, Mabira, and Kibale National Park. The study was carried out in 15 compartmental sites in each of the three forests. In each compartmental site, 4 plots of 60 m × 60 m were systematically established, and within each plot, 4 subplots each of size 20 m × 20 m were randomly setup. A total of 240 subplots were assessed for occurrence of Citropsis articulata in each forest. The results indicated a significant ( p < 0.05 ) variation in the density of C. articulata with the highest recorded in Kibale National Park. Citropsis articulata generally occurred at moderate altitudinal landscapes (overall elevation = 1200.0 ± 20.73 m) with soils that are moderately acidic (overall pH = 5.7 ± 0.10), low in salinity (overall salinity = 84.0 ± 3.84 mg/l), and moderate levels of macro- and micronutrients. Citropsis articulata was generally associated with plant communities dominated by canopy tree species of genera such as Chryosphyllum, Celtis, Markhamia, Cynometra, Lasiodiscus, Trilepisium, Funtumia, and Diospyros, thus suggesting that C. articulata is a shade-tolerant species. Establishing the ecological requirements of this plant species among other things informs the potential for ex situ production of this plant. This will not only provide alternative sources of plant harvest but also go a long way in relieving the current harvest pressures exerted on the conserved wild populations of this plant species.
... From 1990 to 2010, the forested area decreased from 49,240 km² down to 29,880 km². This means that over a 20-year period, more than 19,360 km², equalling 39 percent of the existing forest cover, disappeared [5,6,7]. In 2012, 14.1 percent of Uganda's land area was covered with forest but it presently stands at 12.4 percent. ...
... Since it not possible to convent coal based DRI processes (typically small size plants) to gas based DRI processes, an assumption can be made that there will be a gradual 7 Natural Gas Vehicle Knowledge Base: Natural Gas. transition to gas-based reduction and by 2024, at least 50 percent (550,000 tonnes) of the liquid steel will be produced using natural gas. ...
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About 89 percent of Uganda's total primary energy consumption is generated through biomass. With the country aspiring to become an upper middle-income country by 2040, the total energy requirement is estimated to be 41,738 MW. Currently, 2,000 MW are being produced and the energy mix is dominated by biomass. With a population projected to be 85 million by 2040, there is an urgent need to increase on the generation capacity and diversify and introduce new alternative renewable sources of energy supply especially at the household level. This study was conducted to assess the extent of energy requirements and usage in the country and challenges that need to be addressed to enable the country transition to clean, more sustainable energy sources, with the focus on natural gas. The overall aim was to identify potential demand for natural gas and readiness for its use in the industry and household level. 227 households were visited and the top 25 energy consuming companies. It was discovered that the average LPG consumption per capita is 0.2-0.5 kg/year compared to other sub-Sahara countries with an average LPG per capita consumption of 3 kg/year. Even though 22% of the population can afford LPG at the household level, only 0.8-1% use it due to negative attitude, safety concerns, difficult access and the high initial cost of purchasing the cylinders. All industrial stakeholders are eager and ready to take on natural gas to meet their energy needs as long as the cost/benefit analysis is favourable. The natural gas that will be required to produce 550,0000 tpa of liquid steel by 2024 will be 165-176 million Nm 3 per year. The most favourable source of supply of natural gas to Uganda is from Tanzania.
... From 1990 to 2010, the forested area decreased from 49,240 km² down to 29,880 km². This means that over a 20-year period, more than 19,360 km², equalling 39 percent of the existing forest cover, disappeared [5,6,7]. In 2012, 14.1 percent of Uganda's land area was covered with forest but it presently stands at 12.4 percent. ...
... Since it not possible to convent coal based DRI processes (typically small size plants) to gas based DRI processes, an assumption can be made that there will be a gradual 7 Natural Gas Vehicle Knowledge Base: Natural Gas. transition to gas-based reduction and by 2024, at least 50 percent (550,000 tonnes) of the liquid steel will be produced using natural gas. ...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
About 89 percent of Uganda's total primary energy consumption is generated through biomass. With the country aspiring to become an upper middle-income country by 2040, the total energy requirement is estimated to be 41,738 MW. Currently, 2,000 MW are being produced and the energy mix is dominated by biomass. With a population projected to be 85 million by 2040, there is an urgent need to increase on the generation capacity and diversify and introduce new alternative renewable sources of energy supply especially at the household level. This study was conducted to assess the extent of energy requirements and usage in the country and challenges that need to be addressed to enable the country transition to clean, more sustainable energy sources, with the focus on natural gas. The overall aim was to identify potential demand for natural gas and readiness for its use in the industry and household level. 227 households were visited and the top 25 energy consuming companies. It was discovered that the average LPG consumption per capita is 0.2-0.5 kg/year compared to other sub-Sahara countries with an average LPG per capita consumption of 3 kg/year. Even though 22% of the population can afford LPG at the household level, only 0.8-1% use it due to negative attitude, safety concerns, difficult access and the high initial cost of purchasing the cylinders. All industrial stakeholders are eager and ready to take on natural gas to meet their energy needs as long as the cost/benefit analysis is favourable. The natural gas that will be required to produce 550,0000 tpa of liquid steel by 2024 will be 165-176 million Nm 3 per year. The most favourable source of supply of natural gas to Uganda is from Tanzania.
... Important to note is that, the Western (27.68%) and Central (22.10%) regions of the country had the largest composition of very suitable land for production of C. articulata (Table 5). This may be attributed to the fact that these regions of the country are characterized with moderately acidic soils, high annual rainfall (Figure 3a and 5a) and also endowed with a considerable tropical forest cover (Obua et al., 2010;Plumptre, 2002) which provide a natural habitat for C articulata. Thus, these factors collectively provide ideal conditions for production of C. articulata. ...
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Citropsis articulata (Spreng.) is a potent medicinal plant that is increasingly threatened by unsustainable harvesting and habitat destruction due to deforestation. This calls for enhancement of ex-situ conservation of C. articulata through offsite production. However, the success of offsite production of this species heavily rests on precisely assessing the suitability of the land for its production. In this study, an integrated GIS based multi-criteria evaluation approach was used to depict suitable areas for production of C. articulata based on key factors of; climate, soil and topography. Results revealed that only 13.04% (31495.77 km2) of Uganda’s land is very suitable to support natural production of C. articulata and is mainly situated in the western and central regions. Findings further revealed that 76.4% (24062.77 km2) of very suitable land area is situated outside protected areas, thus implying availability of potential sites for ex-situ and commercial production of C. articulata in the country. Findings also indicated that C. articulata has potential of thriving in well drained, moderately acidic soils and pleasantly warm regions endowed with moderately high precipitation and humidity. Since current stocks of C. articulata are mainly restricted to protected areas, cultivating this species will provide alternative sources of the plant harvest. This will help to relieve current pressures on the wild populations of C. articulata, thus providing a safety backup to the current in-situ conservation efforts.
... Congruent with the aspiration to transition to a "Green Economy", one of the pillars of Uganda's Vision 2040 (NPA, 2007), the nation committed to the Bonn Challenge in 2014. This commitment is timely since Uganda has experienced severe deforestation, driven by agricultural expansion and rising demand for forest products (Obua et al., 2010). Between 1990 and 2015, Uganda's forest cover declined from 4.9 to 1.8 million hectares, with the biggest decline of trees on private land (MWE, 2016). ...
Article
In recent years, Uganda has experienced widespread forest loss and degradation, mainly driven by agricultural expansion and rising demand for forest products. The adoption of agroforestry is regarded as one of the key strategies in forest landscape restoration in agriculture. While the benefits of agroforestry are widely acknowledged, adoption among smallholder farmers is sluggish. This study analyzes how individual risk and time preferences affect smallholder farmers’ choice of attributes of companion trees within coffee agroforestry systems in the Mt. Elgon region in Uganda. Farmers’ risk and time preferences are elicited using lottery-based experiments, whereas farmers’ choices of preferred attributes for companion trees are determined using a discrete choice experiment. The data from the different experimental designs are combined to establish how risk and time preferences affect the decision to integrate companion trees into coffee farms. Farmers’ choices of tree attributes are analyzed based on random utility models, and farmers’ risk and time preferences are measured using cumulative prospect theory and quasi-hyperbolic discounting. The results reveal that most farmers are both risk and loss averse with high discount rates (impatience), and they are willing to pay more for quality tree seedlings. Analyzing the behavioral parameters in combination with discrete choice data on the preferred choice of tree attributes reveals a close association between farmers’ aversion to risk and loss and high discount rates with preferences for trees that grow fast, improve soil fertility, and provide fuelwood. This study offers unique insights for researchers, extension officers, and policymakers, on how farmers’ risk and time preferences and preferred attributes can be used to tailor agroforestry interventions to be attractive for farmers in different contexts in pursuit of broader forest landscape restoration goals.
... However, the contribution of forests to national economies is often dependent on indicators used in the study. Obua et al. (2010) pronounced that discussions on forest use-value in most parts of the world are sternly undermined by underestimation. It is important to note that standard economic indications, such as GDP, grossly undervalues Uganda's forest usevalue. ...
Thesis
Forests in Uganda are very vital for commercial purposes ranging from wood fuels to high-quality timber. Forests are also the reason that Uganda is among the top tourist destinations in Africa with enormous species of wildlife and trees/plants which lovers of nature would want to visit or see. However, forest degradation and deforestation have since the 2000s escalated. The current levels of forest exploitation require a comprehensive investigation and possible solution. Therefore, evaluating forest resources is of principal importance for conservation and management purposes. This dissertation analyzed the Total Economic Values (TEV) model and particularly Forest's existence values and conducted Willingness to pay (WTP) for forest existence values, conservation, and forest sustainability. Also, forest governance issues in Uganda were critically assessed. Using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) and Stated Preference (SP), a questionnaire survey and Focused Group Discussion were used to achieve the study objectives. A sample of n=203 was studied, and collected data were subject to SPSS and STATA software for statistical analysis. Governance issues such as corruption and lack of transparency were highlighted as the major cause of the increased deforestation, also most respondents agreed that the climatic changes in the country are linked to deforestation. Furthermore, the results confirmed a high rank for good knowledge of forest services, benefits, and functions, many households use charcoal or wood fuel. The CVM and SP results showed the mean WTP of $15 and over 60% of the respondents were willing to pay for the forest in existence. The results also presented that over 80% were WTP at least $10 to conserve the forests. Ceteris Paribus, this dissertation concluded that WTP for forest existence values, conservation, and sustainability was highly influenced by the knowledge of forest functions (KFF), and the preference for forest existence values /Non-use forest values. Lastly, this dissertation concluded that Non-Use Values (NUVs) is far much greater than the Use-Values (UVs) that can easily be priced. i.e., NUV >US ceteris paribus. Policy recommendations were suggested herein for future research as well as policy decision-making at different levels of Governance of Uganda regarding forests and other natural resources management.
... The Rwenzori region is characterized by a tropical bimodal climate, however, along an altitude gradient there exists a range of climatic conditions, which include savanna, equatorial and alpine (BakamaNume, 2010) conditions. Both altitude and the Inter-Tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) influence the climate in the region (Hills, 1979;Howard et al., 1991;Obua et al., 2010). The ITCZ twice-yearly movement over the equator brings about two precipitation periods The southwards ITCZ's movement culminates in the "short rains " from August to December and the northwards ITCZ's movement results in a "long rains" from March to May (Majaliwa et al., 2012;Stampone et al., 2011). ...
Thesis
In the face of rapid economic development and population growth, benthic macroinvertebrates communities in Rwenzori tropical catchments in Uganda are undergoing changes in biodiversity and community structure, linked to water quality degradation and climate change. Yet, limited robust studies have been undertaken to ascertain the determinants of macroinvertebrate biodiversity along environmental and geographical gradients, which greatly hampers water resources management. In order to add to the existing knowledge, the aims of the thesis were i) asses the ecological water quality, ii) identify the drivers of macroinvertebrate community diversity across varying gradients and, iii) to develop a tailor-made biotic index to assess water quality. Initially, at the different sites, the ecological water quality was determined using different biotic indices and diversity metrics. Then at the catchment level, environmental drivers influencing the macroinvertebrates community composition were assessed. For this, multivariate and regression techniques were applied, to identify the key predictors for macroinvertebrate community diversity. Finally, using weighted averaging, a cost-effective Rwenzori score biotic index, to accurately monitor and classify the ecological water quality was developed. Most sites, with the exception of downstream sites, had excellent ecological quality, which could be attributed to minimal anthropogenic disturbances. Patterns of decreasing species richness with altitudinal gradients were paralleled by variation in the anthropogenic disturbance. In addition, site environmental characteristics and macroinvertebrate community diversity exhibited a clear relationship with ecological water quality. Both geographical and physicochemical variables were key drivers of macroinvertebrate community diversity. These findings were further supported by ordination analyses that revealed total phosphorus, specific conductivity, chloride and chemical oxygen demand as key environmental variables contributing to variation between the sites. However, regression analysis revealed that nickel and temperature were common predictors of macroinvertebrate diversity. There was significant longitudinal variability in macroinvertebrate diversity between sites, which were also affected by the mineral and temperature gradients. Such variability patterns were likely attributed to influence of anthropogenic disturbances and glacial melt on water temperature at the sites. Thus, increased temperature will lead to shifts in thermal sensitive macroinvertebrate communities. The Rwenzori Score significantly correlated with two commonly applied indices, the Average Score Per Taxon (ASPT) and South African Scoring System Version 5 (SASS5). The novel Rwenzori Score (RS) has five taxa that are not included in the ASPT and SASS5 indices. Based on the results of this thesis, we suggest to (i) start up long-term monitoring in this region by key stakeholders to detect and reduce the threats to river biodiversity from mining, industry and human settlements. ii) implement conservation programs for the 11 fair and 13 poor sites. The findings are useful baseline reference data, to assess and better manage the impacts of anthropogenic activities on the ecological integrity of the region’s aquatic systems.
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Coffee-based farming systems (CBFS) support smallholder farmers through mainly coffee growing with integration of other food crops and livestock. Climate change is expected to ravage crop suitability in several agroecological zones, posing a threat to national earnings and livelihoods. However, previous studies have mainly considered crop-specific analyses rather than the major crops in a farming system. This study illustrates variations in climatic suitability of major crops grown in Uganda’s Arabica and Robusta CBFS at disaggregated altitudes. Climate data (1980–2009) was projected for 2010–2039 (near-term future) for five climate scenarios under Representative Concentration Pathways—RCP 8.5 and 4.5 using twenty-nine global climate models (GCMs) based on the delta method. Climatic suitability of coffee, banana, maize, and beans was assessed using EcoCrop model. Rainfall and temperature changes are expected during long rains and second-dry seasons, with higher rainfall increments during short rains. Minimum temperatures are likely to increase in low altitudes under ensemble-mean, hot-wet, and hot-dry scenarios. Crop suitability improvements (> 5% area) are expected in mid to high altitudes under cool-wet and hot-wet, mainly for RCP 4.5 while western Uganda Arabica CBFS are unlikely to experience crop suitability changes. Suitable area for East African banana and beans is likely to increase utmost 44.7%, and expected to decline to marginal utmost 64% (coffee and banana) and 21.2% (maize) in central Robusta and eastern Arabica CBFS under ensemble-mean, cool-dry, and hot-dry scenarios. Plantain and dessert banana are likely to become unsuitable within Robusta and high-altitude Arabica CBFS. This study recommends identification and use of system appropriate climate-smart adaptation strategies to mitigate future crop-climate vulnerabilities within CBFS.
Article
A study on microhabitat, altitudinal and seasonal influences on small mammal abundance in Mount Rungwe Nature Forest Reserve, Tanzania was carried out from March 2019 to February 2020 during the wet and dry seasons. Live traps were used in six grids and six transect lines for capturing small mammals at the low, mid, and high elevations (1700–2600 m.a.s.l.). Generalized linear models were used to examine the effects of microhabitat characteristics, altitude, and seasons on the relative abundance of small mammals. A total of 444 rodents and shrews were recorded on 4,320 trap nights. Rodent species recorded included Beamys hindei, Cricetomys ansorgei, Dendromus insignis, Grammomys ibeanus, Graphiurus murinus, Lophuromys machangui, Praomys delectorum, and one shrew, Crocidura sp. Overall, P. delectorum was the most dominant species in all elevations, with 68.9% of all captures. Mid elevation had a higher abundance of small mammals (Estimate ± SE = 1.17 ± 0.49, Z = 2.37, p = 0.0176). Species abundance was influenced differently by elevation. While P. delectorum decreases with increasing elevation, L. machangui increases with an increase in elevation. Although overall small mammal abundance was not affected by microhabitat variables (Estimate ± SE = -0.08 ± 0.13, Z = -0.67, p = 0.5050), individual species (P. delectorum and L. machangui; Estimate ± SE = 0.13 ± 0.06, Z = 1.95, p = 0.05 and -0.31 ± 0.09, Z = 3.34, p = 0.0008 respectively) were affected differently. While P. delectorum abundance showed a positive correlation and increased with an increase in PCA1 in GLM, L. machangui had a negative trend that shows they were affected differently. Small mammal abundance, on the other hand, was affected by season and, in particular, rain, with low abundance during heavy rains and dry cold periods (Estimate ± SE = 0.51 ± 0.14, Z = 3.6, p = 0.0003 and 0.3 ± 0.15, Z = 2.08 p = 0.04 respectively). In general, the results show that microhabitat parameters, elevation, and season influenced small mammals’ abundance in MRFNR. This outcome indicates that altering the microhabitat could have an impact on the small mammal assemblage and particularly their abundance. Thus, microhabitat, elevation, and season influence small mammal abundance and can be used as a proxy for evaluating the biodiversity of montane tropical small mammal communities.
Article
The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) indicates vegetation condition and is a vital index in monitoring and forecasting vegetation. Forecasting vegetation aids in decision making and land resource management. The objective of this study was to build a pixel-wise NDVI time series modelled using the Holt-Winters model. Moderate resolution NDVI data at 16 - days temporal resolution and 250 m spatial resolution was obtained from MOD13Q1 of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra Vegetation Indices from 2000 to 2019. The model was tested and its performance evaluated in a low and high vegetation regions in East Africa. The results showed that the model performed better in the high vegetation region than in the low vegetation region for 600 ✕ 600 pixels, achieving a mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.0679 and a root mean squared error (RMSE) of 0.084. 6 months mean NDVI forecast spatial maps were also generated to identify regions of potential vegetation deficit. The maps showed that the low vegetation region is predicted to experience moderate to light vegetation deficit while the high vegetation region is predicted to experience moderate to extremely high vegetation condition. Forecast error measures was computed to validate the forecast results. Our results show the suitability of using the Holt-Winters model in monitoring and forecasting NDVI using univariate data and may be used as a foundation for future studies interested in pixel-wise prediction of NDVI. The forecast maps may be useful to guide planners and decision makers to formulate mitigation plans and reduce the impacts of vegetation degradation at the local and regional level.
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Thesis (PH. D.) -- University of Edinburgh The map is attached to end lining-paper Incluye bibliografía
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"Part I reviews progress at the regional level. This section was developed from six regional reports prepared for discussion in 2006. Part II presents selected issues in the forest sector, addressing the latest developments in 18 topics of interest to forestry."
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