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Tuesday, 07 December 2010

European Union warns on Uganda's future forests

Uganda's forest resources are under tremendous pressure from a growing population and economy, the European Union (EU) has warned. Bernard Crabbe, the head of the rural development section of the EU delegation in Uganda, said the Food and Agricultural Organisation estimates that the current rate of deforestation in the country stands at 92,000 hectares per year. "Many forests are severely degraded. If the trend persists, the new generations will not have the chance to appreciate the significance of Uganda's primary forests and their amazing biodiversity," Crabbe said. Uganda's forest cover is estimated at 21%, while the population is said to be over 30 million. Initially, he said, the EU supported the National Forestry Authority to set up demonstration plantations: "Together with the Government, we realised that promoting commercial forestry was vital to reduce the pressure on natural resources and to meet the growing demand for wood products." Started in 2004, Sawlog Production Grant Scheme is a joint initiative between the Government, EU and the Norwegian government aimed at encouraging private sector involvement in commercial timber production.
The scheme provides grants and technical support to investors in timber and certain crops.

Source: Allafrica