PRESS RELEASE: Kayonza Growers Tea Factory to be recognised for its Equator Prize win in Kampala

Apr 20, 2016

KAMPALA - As world leaders prepare to sign the Paris Agreement for Climate Change in New York this week, Uganda will be recognising one of its local initiatives for its outstanding contribution to environmental conservation, poverty and climate action.

This local initiative, Kayonza Growers Tea Factory’s recognition comes after it was selected and awarded the Equator Prize 2015 for its efforts in helping their community in Kanungu district, South Western Uganda to adapt to climate change. 

Operating adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, one of Uganda’s oldest rainforests and home to 50 percent of the world’s mountain gorillas, Kayonza Growers Tea Factory is a for-profit community enterprise, 100 percent owned by its 7,205 smallholder tea farmers.

In a community facing deforestation, wetland encroachment, soil degradation and water shortages, the initiative has worked to ensure that at least 70 percent of the population is involved in a landscape-scale, community-led climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy that addresses energy efficiency, food and income security and natural resource management.

Over 4,800 smallholders have benefited to date through the introduction of new staple or cash crops (including beans, banana, Irish potato, and ground nuts), kitchen gardens and more. Across 52 eco-regions, more than 4,000 farmers have been trained in conserving wetlands, riverbanks and natural forests. Over 20,000 indigenous trees have been planted on farm borders and degraded hillsides. The initiative is a model of smallholder-led adaptation to climate change, integrated ecosystem restoration, reforestation and eco-agriculture.

It is one of twenty-one community initiatives from across the world that were awarded the prize in 2015, selected from 1,461 nominations submitted by communities in 126 countries. The ceremony in Kampala follows an event held at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in December in Paris, France.

The Kayonza Growers Tea Factory Ltd will be celebrated as a winner of the Equator Prize 2015 at a ceremony in Protea Hotel, Kampala on Thursday, 21st April 2016.  

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About the Equator Initiative

The Equator Initiative is a partnership that brings together the UN, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organisations to advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

Since 2002, the partnership has awarded the prestigious Equator Prize to 208 local and indigenous communities around the world. Two local initiatives from Uganda have won in the past for their community led efforts. These are Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) in 2004 and 2010, and Uplift the Rural Poor from Kisoro in 2014.

Each winning organisation received USD10, 000 and two representatives from each community participated in workshops and events at COP21. In statements delivered at the award ceremony, community representatives stressed the urgent need for better representation of indigenous peoples and local communities in decisions on land tenure and management of natural resources.

A video on Kayonza Growers Tea Factory’s work is available here. While a complete list of Equator Prize 2015 winners can be found here.

Contact information

For more information about the initiative please visit: www.equatorinitiative.org.  

Or contact: Doreen Kansiime, Communications Assistant, UNDP Uganda.

Email: doreen.kansiime@undp.org

Tel: + 256 417 112128.

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