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Uganda's REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan to Benefit from multi-sectoral collaboration.

Blog | Sun, 26 Nov, 2023 · 6 min read
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Stakeholders from different sectors of Uganda's economy have developed an action plan for integrating REDD+ into sectors of the economy. This was the key outcome of the National Policy Dialogue, jointly organized by the UN-REDD Programme, the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda, and the Africa Forest Forum (AFF), which took place from 23rd to 24th, November 2023, in Entebbe, Uganda and online.  

The dialogue emphasized the importance of fostering close collaboration among various actors to effectively address deforestation and unsustainable land use practices. It also highlighted the need to promote sustainable development and safeguard natural resources. Representatives from various sectors, including forestry, energy, agriculture, land, wildlife, local government, research institutions, academia, and civil society, participated in the dialogue. 

Uganda's Progress in REDD+ Readiness 

Uganda has made progress in implementing the REDD+ Readiness phase, including developing the national REDD+ strategy and Action Plan, National REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan, the National Forest Monitoring System, the National Forest Reference Emission Level, and the Safeguards Information System, and a number of additional REDD+ frameworks and initiatives. The main REDD+ strategic options for Uganda include climate-smart agriculture, sustainable fuelwood and (commercial) charcoal production, large-scale commercial timber plantations, restoration of natural forests in the landscape, energy-efficient cooking stoves, integrated wildfire management, livestock rearing in the Cattle Corridor, and strengthening policy implementation for REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan. 

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Policy Alignment with REDD+ Requirements 

An analysis of national policies presented during the dialogue revealed that some sectoral policies in Uganda have objectives that support REDD+ implementation while others have objectives that could potentially have a negative impact. For instance, the National Land Use Policy, the National Environment Management Policy, and the Uganda Forestry Policy were positively aligned with REDD+ requirements and activities. However, the National Agricultural Policy had the least positive policy interaction with REDD+. The findings of the policy analysis guided discussions to develop an action plan for effective REDD+ implementation in Uganda.  Some of the key priority actions for implementation include: 

  • Encourage international actors to provide positive incentives for sustainable forest management through REDD+ mechanisms. 

  • Establish and operationalize the Tree Fund to support afforestation and reforestation efforts. 

  • Register natural forests on private land to accurately assess carbon stocks and promote sustainable management practices. 

  • Develop and promote mechanisms for valuing and trading biodiversity credits to incentivize conservation efforts. 

  • Conduct Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for all land use changes that could impact forests. 

  • Provide alternative livelihood options to reduce pressure on forests for subsistence needs. 

  • Strengthen adherence to physical plans to ensure that development activities do not encroach on forests. 

  • Integrate climate change considerations into planning and budgeting processes to ensure the resilience of forestry programmes. 

  • Include REDD+ indicators in performance assessments for local governments to promote its implementation. 

  • Effectively enforce forestry laws and regulations, including the establishment of a specialized environment court to handle environmental cases more effectively. 

REDD+ implementation in Uganda is coordinated by the Ministry of Water and Environment. It will work with other ministries, departments, and agencies as well as civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to ensure that national policies are complementary and that REDD+ requirements and activities are integrated into all relevant policies.