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SFEGS Joins the Nation in Celebrating Water and Environment Week

  • In General
  • 26 Mar 2019 - 12:43pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 464
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Members of Management tour the sawmill at Nyabyeya Forestry College (NFC). SFEGS students undertake practical forestry training and internship at NFC.

School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS) joined the rest of Uganda in the celebration of the Water and Environment Week that took place between 18th and 22nd March 2019 at the Water Resources Institute, Entebbe.

Prior to the actual week, the School as a member of the National Organising Committee and National Technical Committee participated in the pre-events such as planning and preparation and joining the “Walk for Zoka” forest.

“Walk for Zoka” was an initiative by a group of conservationists aimed at raising  Government and other actors’ awareness to take action and save Zoka forest reserve in Adjumani district whose 6,145 hectares were under threat due to encroachment and illegal logging. The walk started on 4th March 2019 at the Ministry of Water and Environment Headquarters in Kampala, Uganda.

Students and staff of SFEGS joined the walkers at Kafu Bridge along the Kampala-Gulu highway on 8th March, 2019 and participated in the restoration activities of the Kafu catchment as a strategy to raise awareness on the importance of catchment forests.

The School conducted training on 19th March, 2019 at the Water Resources Institute, Entebbe on the iRain App; a tool for global precipitation monitoring, whose user friendly interface is designed to facilitate stakeholder involvement in collecting data, as part of UNESCO-International Hydrological Programme (IHP)’s efforts to put science into action through the use of citizen science.

The School also conducted a training covering aspects of forestry entrepreneurship, nursery operations, silviculture and forest product and service development on 20th March 2019 at the same venue. Participants showed a lot of enthusiasm on forest investment and requested trainers to have more frequent and regular trainings on grounds that forests are critical in this era of climate change and improvement of the wellbeing of the population.
 
21st March is the International Day of Forests which is celebrated annually in Uganda. The School in partnership with the Forestry Sector Support Department of the Ministry of Water and Environment organized a National Forestry Dialogue which was also held at the Water Resources Institute, Entebbe under the theme, “Enhancing the contribution of Forests and Trees in attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in Uganda”.

The overarching purpose of the dialogue was to provide a platform where stakeholders would freely engage, explore and generate strategies to address the historical and contemporary threats to forests in Uganda and explore mechanisms of increasing the contribution of forests to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The dialogue was attended by students, academics, private sector, researchers, practitioners, civil servants, Civil Society and representatives of diplomatic missions and local communities.

The Dialogue started with a keynote speech from Ms. Cotilda Nakyeyune from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Uganda followed by a panel of eight experts including the Dean SFEGS Prof. Fred Babweteera moderated by Dr. Patrick Byakagaba.

The dialogue was characterised by passionate contributions from all participants. The message from participants was “we have talked a lot, it is time for action”. They summarised their views in a communique that was presented to the Prime Minister.

The key issues in the Communiqué were: the need to invest in basic forestry research, recognize the value of forests in the National Accounting system and support forest law enforcement, strengthen the forestry extension services, operationalise the “Tree Fund”, fast-track the process of passing the Uganda Forestry Association Bill 2010, promote and sustainably manage urban forests and trees, incentivize owners of private natural forests, improve forest product development through value addition and improve forest law enforcement and governance. While these commitments were voluntary, stakeholders agreed that they will be pursued by both state and non-state actors.

Please see Downloads for the Communiqué arising out of the National Forestry Stakeholders' Dialogue

Report compiled by,
CAES Communication Office.

Downloads & Essential Attachments

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