The Uganda Investing in Forests and Protected Areas Project was approved by the World Bank on April 23, 2020, and by Uganda’s Cabinet February 1, 2021, but is still awaiting approval by the Ugandan Parliament. Currently, the project is in the initial stages of stakeholder engagement and environment and social risk mitigation planning.
The development objective of the project is to help Uganda improve sustainable management of forests and protected areas and to increase benefits to forest-dependent communities. As Uganda’s landscape is central to the tourism industry and overall economy, the project is intended both to increase ecosystem goods and services and generate more revenue from forests and protected areas. This will be achieved through financing infrastructure and equipment for management, protection, and development of key tourism infrastructure. In addition, the project is to invest in plantation forestry and wood value chains with the aim of enabling plantation forestry to become a strong and self-sustaining economic sector.
It is also important to note that Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with approximately 1.4 million refugees. The ongoing influx of refugees along with existing and protracted refugee settlements has exacerbated human environmental impacts and associated problems. To alleviate these impacts in refugee hosting areas, the project will support forest management in select areas and intends to increase tree cover in host community landscapes via agroforestry and woodlot establishment.