The International Development Association (IDA), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group, has approved a $78.2 million loan for a project to preserve and develop Uganda's forests and protected areas.
Uganda has recently received funds from the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank Group subsidiary is providing a $78.2 million loan to this East African country for the implementation of its “Uganda Forests and Protected Areas Investment Project for Climate Smart Development”.
The aim of the Ugandan government’s initiative is to improve sustainable forest management. The project is jointly implemented by the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and the National Forestry Authority (NFA). The project primarily targets areas prone to significant biodiversity loss, including the Albert Water Management Zone (WMZ) in western Uganda, as well as the West Nile region (northwest) within the Upper Nile Water Management Zone.
Protected area management
The first component of the “Uganda Forests and Protected Areas Investment Project for Climate Smart Development” is infrastructure. The Ugandan government wants to develop trails to facilitate access to protected areas as well as strengthen security fences around the parks. Forest rangers will receive new equipment, including communication and patrol vehicles, as well as housing.
The Ugandan government will rely on local communities to implement its biodiversity conservation project. It intends to set up technical assistance and training programmes aimed at developing skills at the community level to participate in and benefit from the management of forest and wildlife resources. These assistance schemes include targeted support for women. The goal is to empower them to participate and take leadership roles in natural resource management.
At the same time, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and the National Forestry Authority (NFA) will train local people in invasive plant removal and forest restoration. Communities will also benefit from the forests with the development of beekeeping and wild mushroom cultivation.
Jean Marie Takouleu