UN-REDD National Programme for Uganda launched

Nov 2, 2015

Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment, holding the UN-REDD National Programme document for Uganda after launching the programme, with him are Ms. Patience Alidri, the UNDP Assistant Country Director (fourth left in red coat), Mr. Paul Mafabi, Commissioner, MWE (sixth right) and officers from both the Central and Local Government level who will take part in implementing the programme. (Photo credit: UNDP Uganda 2015).

Kampala - The Minister of Water and Environment, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu has launched the United Nations collaborative effort on Reducing of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) for Uganda.

The UN-REDD National programme’s goal is to get Uganda ready for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) implementation, including development of necessary institutions, policies, instruments and capacities, in a collaborative and leveraging way with other REDD+ readiness partners.

Its aim is to reduce Greenhouse Gases through a socially and environmentally viable national strategy on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

“The Government welcomes the UN-REDD programme as one of the global contributions towards preparing Uganda to be ready to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. These efforts are timely and will go a long way to reducing Uganda’s foot print on global climate while at the same time, supporting one of the key factors in her green growth economy drive, for the forestry resources,” Prof. Kamuntu said while launching the programme.

He pointed out that Uganda’s annual forest loss was projected to be at 88,638 hectares between 1990 and 2005 and is estimated to be much higher in recent years.

“This forest loss,” he said, “was caused by drivers such as agriculture expansion into forested areas, establishment of human settlements, unsustainable levels of harvesting forest products for timer, wood and fuel, as well competing land uses as alternative to forestry use.”

He further said that before Government could tackle these drivers, climate change had come in to create additional conditions that must be addressed as well.

“However,” Prof. Kamuntu said, “Government is determined to reverse this worrying trend and restore forest cover to its state as of 1990 when it was covering 24% of Uganda’s land cover.”

In a speech read for her by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Assistant Country Director, Ms. Patience Alidri, the United Nations Resident Coordinator said that the UN-REDD National Programme would be key for the country to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly Goal 13 on climate change and Goal 15 on managing forests sustainably.

She congratulated Uganda for completing and submitting Uganda’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC Secretariat adding that these would be important for the country’s negotiations during the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris this December.

“The knowledge and experience built through UN-REDD National programme for Uganda will enhance the country’s capacity to contribute to these global platforms and processes even more effectively,” Ms. Alidri said.

The UN-REDD National Programme for Uganda builds on the on the convening role and technical expertise of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is expected to;

• Design a transformational national REDD+ strategy and Action Plan anchored in the national development framework (led by UNDP).
• Design and set-up a National Forest Monitoring System (NFSM) with appropriate Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) functions (led by FAO).
• Prepare and facilitate a sub national implementation of the REDD+ national strategy through an “integrated landscape management” approach (led by UNEP).

Apart from the UN agencies, the programme is supported by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank and the Austrian Cooperation for work on national forest monitoring systems, safeguards and multiple benefits of REDD+.

Its implementation will be led by the Ministry of Water and Environment - Forest Sector Support Department and will benefit various stakeholders including local governments, Civil Society Organisations, the private sector and forest dependent communities in the country.

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