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Sustainable Ecosystems Management
Sustainable ecosystem (Forests/Freshwater) Restoration and Management in Uganda Project is a Biodiversity Partnership (BATBP) program aiming to address the dependencies and impacts of tobacco growing on forest biodiversity. Its purpose is to enable BATU address its indirect impacts on forest biodiversity from tobacco growing operations.
The broad aim of the project is to address the issue of native forest degradation through restoration, management and mitigation in BATU areas of operation. The outcomes of the program are:
1) 850 hectares of forest restored under sustainable management by BATU and appropriate stakeholders; and
2) An integrated management plan for sustainable use of agricultural land and forest reserves under BATU responsibility.
Work to achieve these program outcomes started in 2007 following a full Biodiversity Risk and Opportunities Assessment (BROA), this process identified the main risks to biodiversity through BATU operations and recorded a set of corrective actions required in order to reduce the risk on biodiversity. This project evolved to support BATU in addressing these identified corrective actions. Initial activities focused on scoping work in all tobacco growing areas to understand impacts of BATU operations on forest ecosystems, generate baseline information on location, size, biodiversity importance and management practices at each forest. A list of natural forests and their biodiversity descriptions in all tobacco growing areas was generated and this guided the selection of forests for BATU to focus on for initial investment in supporting regeneration of natural forests. At the same time, a review of all BATU plantations and biodiversity set asides was undertaken to understand their management practices and conservation importance so as to advise BATU on how to improve their management.
NAHI has since developed and piloted approaches to reduce dependences and impacts of tobacco growing on forest biodiversity. Working in partnership with conservation organisations, private forest owners and tobacco farmers, the following outputs/achievements have been registered:
NAHI’s approach to forest restoration
NAHI adopted the approach of categorizing various forests into forest blocks. Forest blocks are characterized by forest patches in the same locality and are owned and managed by different private forest owners. This approach is meant to ensure a systematic way of restoration and management of natural forests.
NAHI facilitates the private forest owners in the selected blocks to form smaller private forest owners associations, which bring them together as one voice to mitigate challenges in conservation, but also for sharing forest conservation initiatives and benefits.