The Minister of State for Environment Hon. Mary Gorettie Kitutu, has commended the feedback report of study findings on “Securing Tenure Rights for Forest- Dependent Communities,” in Uganda; saying that, the report provides an in-depth analysis of the requirements needed to ensure forest tenure rights for forest dependent communities in Uganda at both policy and community level.
In a speech read by Ms Lucy Iyango, Commissioner, Wetlands Management Department, Ministry of Water and Environment at a Multi-stakeholder Colloquium held on 22nd November 2017 at Hotel Africana, the Minister reported that the study made significant contribution to enhancement of the implementation of the Forest sector Reforms brought in by the new Forest and Tree Planting Act of 2003 which include; forest governance, governance of land and forest resources. The study also contributes to the implementation of the National Development Plan, 2015 to 2019, and Vision 2040.
The Multi-stakeholder Colloquium on was organised by the Makerere University, School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS) together with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Association of Uganda Professional Women in Agriculture and Environment (AUPWAE).
The high profile meeting also focused on sharing experiences, engaging with policy makers and practitioners and generating recommendations for improving forest tenure reform implementation in Uganda.
Addressing participants at Hotel Africana, the Minister reiterated said that securing and strengthening land tenure rights for forest dependent communities is essential for reducing forest degradation and deforestation.
She thanked the Government of Uganda for instituting a Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) approach in which forest-dependent communities play a role in the management of the Central Government Forest Reserves under the control of National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the local Forest Reserves under the control of District Forest Services (DFS).
“This approach has been found to provide a degree of inclusiveness in the management of the forest estate, particularly in areas where the communities are empowered to engage effectively with the responsible bodies involved in forestry management such as NFA and DFS. The government has also supported the registration and declaration of community forests both on public and customary lands. Under these arrangements, the capacity of communities to manage these resources have been built. In addition, communities have been empowered by civil society organizations to negotiate for their rights,” she said.
She applauded SFEGS, CIFOR and AUPWAE for ensuring that the profile of gender and its influence on community forestry is enhanced during the research. “It is without doubt that the participation of women and other marginalized groups is key in enhancing forestry governance,” she said.
The Minister also thanked the European Commission, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other partners for supporting the project.
In a speech read by the Director of the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe emphasized the need to increase capacity building on land tenure systems and land security among university students. He as well urged all participants to take off time to evaluate and identify the drivers, enablers and inhibitors of the forest reform implementation process in Uganda and tease out the livelihood outcomes and tenure security concerns for the sustainable forest management in Uganda.
The Principal of College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Prof. Bernard Bashaasha emphasized the importance of dialogue among stakeholders involved in forestry sector in the country. “Everyone with a stake in the forest sector in particular and the environmental sector in general must be listened to and allowed to take part in the management of our natural resources,” he said.
Professor Banana, the Principal Investigator of the project in Uganda informed the participants that, Uganda like many other tropical developing countries has experienced high rate of deforestation and forest degradation to both forest reserves and forests on private land in the recent past.
According to the recent study by NFA, forests on private land have declined from 70% of Uganda’s forest cover in early 1990 to 38% at present. Similarly, forest cover in forest reserves has declined from 1.5million hectares in 1990 to 1.1million hectares in 2015 (representing a decline of 41%), as a result of increased demand for forest products, expansion of agriculture and illegal settlements. It is as a result of these high rates of deforestation in private, public and government forest reserves that forest tenure reforms were introduced in 2003.
According to Alhaji M. Jallow, the Representative of FAO in Uganda, encroachments on the forest reserves have been exacerbated by population increase. The increase in demand for agricultural land, timber, charcoal and firewood has increased competition on utilization of resources.
“The government of Uganda has the political will to reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation through afforestation, forest land tenure reforms, intensive farming enhancement, forest conservation, tree planting by communities, and land scape restoration,” he mentioned.
The International law including instruments such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination recognise the rights of forest peoples to, ‘own, control, use and peacefully enjoy their rights over these resources’.
Uganda’s legal and policy frameworks in the forestry sector recognise forest-dependent communities’ role and rights in the forest sector. When presenting to participants about “Tenure security and livelihood outcomes of reform implementation”, Prof Abwoli Banana said that the Government of Uganda embarked on forest and land sector reforms that aimed at sustainable forest management, including adoption of new polices and laws, and establishment of new institutions to address forest cover decline.
“These reforms have entailed different arrangement for sharing and granting rights to local people living in and around forests, in an attempt to reconcile forest conservation with livelihood improvement goals,” he said.
According to the Chairperson, Technical Advisory Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Omukungu Kiwazi Kyagambiddwa, Buganda Kingdom has developed a strategic plan known as “Enteekateeka Namutayika” to address land and forest management reforms. In the same spirit, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lands in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom shared the kingdom’s five year development plan in regulating settlement patterns in forested lands in the kingdom. These contributions were made in line with the theme on customary land ownership and perspectives of cultural leaders.
In a presentation she made on “Gender dimensions to forest tenure reforms in Uganda”, the Principal Scientist CIFOR Dr. Esther Mwangi said that there is a need to strengthen women’s land tenure rights. According to Dr. Mwangi, improving women’s access to and control over economic resources has a positive effect on a range of development goals, including poverty reduction and economic growth.
“While many people in the developing countries lack secure property rights and access to adequate resources, women have less access to land than men do in all regions and in many countries. Women across the developing countries are consistently less likely to own land, have fewer rights to land, and the land they do own or have access to is of lower quality in comparison to men,” she highlighted.
Reiterating the need to strengthen women’s land tenure rights in the country, Dr. Margret Namusoke, a Representative from the Association of Uganda Professional Women in Agriculture and Environment mentioned the importance of building more capacity among men and women on the land tenure rights and reforms.
While closing the colloquium, the woman Member of Parliament of Kyankwanzi District Hon. Anne Maria Nankabirwa called upon the media to give Forestry and Environment a priority while reporting. She also implored NFA to consider the protection of biodiversity when allocating forest reserve lands to private tree planters.
During the colloquium, participants agreed on a range of recommendations for improving forest tenure reform implementation in Uganda and were forwarded to the Minister of State for Environment for implementation.
Article by Public Relations Office
Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution
The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.
The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.
Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative
By Bernard Buteera
Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.
The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.
While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.
“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.
Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.
“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.
”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.
The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.
”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.
Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.
”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.
Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.
“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.
Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.
Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.
“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.
Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.
The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).
The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.
Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.
Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.
For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.
ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022
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