Origin of the National Forestry Authority
Government of Uganda, in 1998 adopted a policy to restructure many government departments including the Forestry Department. It recognized an urgent need for a change in the policy, legal framework and institutions controlling forestry in the country. There was a sense of crisis about the state of the country's forests and a particular outcry at the state of the forest reserves, in the hands of the Forestry Department. The sensitization Forestry Department was no longer appropriate for the task and therefore a need for it to be divested. It was decided that a new institutional arrangement was needed hence the Forestry Inspection Division, the National Forestry Authority and the District Forestry Services were set up.
Government of Uganda worked with DFID, Norway, GTZ, UNDP, FAO and the EU towards this institutional change since 1999. Having made the decision to close the Forestry Department, the Ministry pushed for a quick development of, and transition to, an NFA. So, the NFA became in 2003 under section 52 of The National Forestry and Tree Planting Act and was launched on the 26th April 2004.
Establishment of the National Forestry Authority was preceded by the development of the new Forestry Policy (2001) and the National Forest Plan (2002). These were to provide for a framework for distribution of roles and responsibilities amongst sector stakeholders and not just the Forestry Department.
Institutional structure and human resources
We have developed an organisational structure for the National Forestry Authority that divides work among its employees and shows a co-ordination of activities so that they are directed towards achieving business goals. The Authority reports to government through the Minister responsible for forestry, and is supervised by a Board of Directors. The structure provides for:
- economic and efficient use of resources: forest reserves, money, people, physical and biological assets,
- accountability for areas of work undertaken by divisions, coordination units, ranges, sectors, beats and individuals,
- co-ordination of different parts of the organisation to ensure they work towards a common goal.
The NFA organisational structure translates into 335 employees that are deployed both at headquarter and in the field. There is a comprehensive human resources manual together with administrative policies that were developed that make NFA staff a well-motivated team. The employees are well paid and receive motivation based on excellent performance.