KAMPALA– The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stepped in to save the Bugoma Forest near Lake Albert in western Uganda in from being depleted by an influx of refugees, who are cutting the trees for firewood and for building shelters.

This was revealed by the assistant project co-ordinator of the FAO Sawlog Production Grant Scheme III, Denis Mutaryebwa, who acknowledged that deforestation caused by refugees on the Bugoma forest reserve located in the Kyangwali refugees settlement camp in Hoima District.

“We are working with the Office of the Prime Minister to stop the cutting of trees in Bugoma forest, Mutaryebwa said.

During a media dialogue on commercial forestry to mark the International Day of Forests here Monday, Mutaryebwa disclosed that the FAO was going to plant 1,000 hectares of fast-growing trees to conserve Bugoma forest.

The dialogue held under the theme, Forests and Sustainable Cities, was organized by FAO. Priya Gujadhur, the FAO country representative in Uganda, emphasised that forests are key to supporting the booming construction works in cities and also act as a sink for heavy emissions of carbon from mushrooming industries in and around cities.

She pointed out that 96 per cent of the population relies on biomass in Uganda, with limited or no access to energy-improved technologies that can allow energy saving.

Gujadhur said the forests cover about 31 per cent of world’s land mass and roughly 1.6 billion people depend on them for their livelihoods.



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