PRESS STATEMENT ON OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTMENT IN CENTRAL FOREST RESERVES (CFRs)
The National Forestry Authority (NFA) is a Government agency established under the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act (2003), to manage and develop Central Forest Reserves (CFRs) and to supply high quality forest products and services in accordance with Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) practices. The Uganda forestry policy (2001) requires NFA to ensure SFM of CFR’s in partnership with private sector and local communities and government and non-government institutions to promote development of private sector forestry industry.
NFA introduced a private sector commercial tree planting program in 2005 building on Forestry Department by setting aside two hundred thousand (200,000) hectares of land in CFR as alternative source for forest products to relieve pressure on the natural forests. So far about eighty thousand (80,000) hectares have been planted by the Private sector, thirteen thousand (13,000) by NFA, with fast growing tree species (Eucalyptus, Pinus, Maesopsis (Musizi) and others). An additional forty thousand (40,000) hectares has been allocated from the recent advertisement of 2017 for private sector investments in CFRs (Commercial Plantation Development, Forest Restoration, Ecotourism, Highway stopover centers, Biking Trails, Forest Parks and Urban Greening, Biomass Energy plantations, Bamboo plantations Development).
Benefits of investments in CFRs to the country:
- Restored degraded areas in the CFRs and related ecological services.
- Increased forest cover and supply forestry products which are increasingly getting scarce.
- A total of UGX One Hundred forty billion (140,000,000,000) will be invested to establish forty thousand (40,000) hectares of plantations by the private sector to boost the forestry sector.
- About Two hundred thousand (200,000) jobs opportunities (nursery management, plantation tending and protection) will created for communities adjacent to CFRs. The opportunity creates alternatives to feed the demand for forest products like charcoal, firewood and timber. For example Uganda consumes forty million (40,000,000) metric tons of firewood, one million (1,000,000) metric tons of charcoal and six hundred thousand (600,000) cubic meters of sawn wood (timber ready to use) per annum which puts pressure on natural forests and with this level harvesting is unsustainable resulting to the effects of deforestation which is visible now.
- The opportunities in CFRs anticipates to increase the current annual rate of tree planting by the private sector from five thousand (5000) hectares to ten thousand (10,000) hectares.
- NFA has set aside ten thousand (10,000) hectares to be allocated to communities adjacent to CFRs under collaborative forestry management approach which constitutes 5% in all Forest reserves allocated for planting and this is a way of bringing on board the local communities to participate and benefit from sustainable forest management. Furthermore, Communities will access livelihood opportunities through engagement with the private sector for economic development.
NFA is committed to ensure sustainable management of CFRs through involvement of the private sector to tap into different opportunities in the forestry sector. Therefore, NFA calls upon the respective district local governments, religious leaders, civil society and other stakeholders to support Sustainable Forest Management.
On behalf of NFA, I would like to thank the media for being partners in creating awareness and disseminating forestry related information for sustainable development.
Ag. Executive Director
Paul Buyerah Musamali