Addressing community needs by strengthening COLLABORATIVE FOREST MANAGEMENT (CFM) practices
Since 2009, AUC has continuously received funding from Rufford Small Grant Foundation (RSG) (put a rufford link) a registered UK charity organization number 117270 to support forest biodiversity conservation in central Uganda.
AUC project on Collaborative Forest Management (CFM), builds on a compressive consortium research that was supported by Darwin Initiative through British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in 2005 - 2009 at Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (MUIENR). Among other projects implemented include:
Sustaining Community Participation in Collaborative Forest Management in central Uganda 1111-C (2017 – 2018)
Issues addressed by the RSG supported projects
Forest dependent communities are vulnerable to the effect of global forest losses. To ensure equitable and sustainable forest management, such communities need to be supported. By giving a fair share of control and management, we can strengthen the livelihoods of the forest adjacent communities through trade in handcraft materials made from forest products, tourism and farming. These activities can divert pressure from forest encroachment which has been the biggest driver of degradation on the forests.
The encroachment has especially been driven by food insecurity, land fragmentation, search for alternative livelihoods and energy sources and inadequate cooperation and communication among agencies. This encroachment has over the years seen gradual degradation and hence most of the forest reserves are threatened. It is through the efforts of African Union of Conservationists (AUC) under Rufford Small Grants (RSG) that a lot of improvement is being realized in the restoration of the degraded forests by devising alternative income generating activities for the adjacent communities in central Uganda.
In a bid to save human activities impact on the forests, AUC through understanding these impacts of forest fragmentation, to enhancing community participation to conserve fragmented forests, promoting collaborative forest management in degraded forests in central Uganda and strengthening this collaborative management, we are now working on sustaining these enormous achievements and we acknowledge the support extended by RSG.
Our achievements have been shared with various stakeholders and among them are; the communities around the project area, through National Forest Authority (NFA) and Forest Support Sector Department (FSSD). The practices and their success were shared for ecosystem services in the networks of International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) www.iubs.org, International University Network on Cultural and Biological Diversity (IUNCBD) www.iuncbd.org, Tropical Biology Association www.tropical-biology.org, Linking Tourism and Conservation (LT&C) www.ltandc.org and Rmit University www.rmit.edu.au.
Sustainability needs to be achieved by strengthening, empowering and continuous capacity building among forest managers that interact with adjacent communities. This will lessen on the forestry conflicts between the managers and communities. Therefore putting in place forest conservation business based on forest establishment and management should be the next step. This may include forest tourism among other programmes. There is a need to integrate community social workers in CFM programmes. These will simplify foresters’ communication and communities to comply with the enabling environment in the forest conservation such as the ecosystem services.
For details contact: Raymond Katebaka