Cultural forests help facing climate change in Uganda
Conserved cultural forests help facing climate change in Uganda
(Implemented by the National association of professional environmentalists of Uganda; Nominator: Simone Lovera)
The initiative addresses the impact of climate change in Uganda, which is already affecting the environment as well as human health, food security, agriculture, energy, economic activities and physical infrastructure. This will be done by promoting the conservation of cultural forests in collaboration with the cultural groups of Bunyoro in Western Uganda, Buganda in Central Uganda and Busoga in Eastern Uganda. These groups have demonstrated to be capable of conserving their forests through centuries. The initiative will start with a study that will document the existing cultural practices in forest management and their contribution towards reducing the impacts of climate change. The elders and the youth will be asked to think together and figure out what can they do – in line with tradition and incorporating useful innovation – to respond to the new challenge of climate change. The findings of the study will be shared with various stakeholders in order to identify and discuss strategies for further strengthening the cultural practices and institutions that result in forest conservation. The support by the PKF Foundation will be limited to this early phase, but it is our understanding that the GEF SGP in Uganda will look favorably upon supporting the initiative in its further development.
Exchange visits between the different cultural groups and experience sharing meeting with the youth will then be conducted to discuss how traditional knowledge and new ideas can strengthen each other. Community initiatives such as planting of local tree species shall be supported. The existing informations on cultural practices and their contributions towards reducing climate change impacts will be translated into different local languages to ease understanding by the different groups. An audio-visual documentary on the existing different forest conservation cultural practices will be produced. A regional stakeholders meeting of the cultural leaders, the youth, relevant government institutions, relevant NGOs and academia will then be held to disseminate the best practices on natural forests management and their contribution to reducing climate change impacts. At this meeting, strategies to positively influence policy and promoting community forest conservation initiatives and the survival and enrichment of traditional wisdom and institutions shall be agreed upon.