Connect with us

General

Hon. Kitutu Commends Feedback Report on Land tenure Rights for Forest-Dependent Communities

Published

on

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).

Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi-Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) represented the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

“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.

The Project's Principal Investigator-Prof. Abwoli Banana makes his presentation at the colloquium

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.

Dr. Esther Mwangi-Principal Scientist CIFOR engages the audience at the colloquium

“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.

Kyankwanzi District MP-Hon. Anne Maria Nankabirwa officially closed the colloquium

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

Continue Reading

General

Rotary International President visits Mak

Published

on

The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted.   President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.

President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims. 

Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.

By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.

Read more

Continue Reading

General

Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders

Published

on

The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.  

The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.

Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.

Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.

The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.

The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.  

At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.

“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.

“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.

Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.  

She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.   

Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.

She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.  

On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”

At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.

She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.

“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.

Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.

Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.

He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”

Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.

Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”

Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.

“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.

The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”

She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.   

The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.

Continue Reading

General

Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal

Published

on

The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25.  For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.

Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.

Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY

Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG

Continue Reading

Trending