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EU gives Uganda another shs167bn to tackle deforestation


The European Union (EU) is making available grant financing to Uganda to the tune of EUR 40 million (shs167 billion) to tackle the root causes of deforestation in the country while promoting reforestation and sustainable economic development.The grant-financing was announced during the occasion of the high-level visit to Uganda by  Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.During his visit, Commissioner Sinkevičius met Uganda’s President Museveni and together launched the new EU Forestry programme with Uganda which is based on the extensive experience of the EU in the forestry sector in the country.‘‘With these milestones which are a demonstration of common aspirations, we envision achieving the European Green Deal’s objectives and the Global Gateway – the EU’s sustainable connectivity strategy. This includes enhancing the role of forests in the bio-economy and nurturing our trade flows of wood material,” said Sinkevičius.President Museveni welcomed the new EU support to the sector and offered the Government of Uganda commitment to its successful implementation.“This is a good initiative because it will help us protect our forests and also deal with those who want to encroach on the forests,” said  Museveni.Sinkevičius noted that together with the government of Uganda, the EU had laid the groundwork for commercial forestry in the country, particularly in the last 15 years, accumulating collective experiences and efforts to identify and implement inclusive solutions that strike a balance between different land uses, reduce deforestation, forest degradation and unsustainable conversion of natural ecosystems.He  congratulated Uganda for being among the first five countries in the world to sign a Forest Partnership Agreement with the European Union at the COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where European Union Commission President, Ursula Von der Leyen ratified a Memorandum of Understanding on November 8, 2022.Following that signing, Uganda successfully developed and validated a Forest Partnership roadmap on June 29, 2023, within the set six months as committed globally.The new Forest programme launched at the State House Entebbe will work to  increase inclusive investments and decent job opportunities for women and men in sustainable forestry and forest-based value chains, increase  forest cover by both decreasing deforestation & forest degradation and promoting forest restoration and community support to preservation efforts and enhance  effectiveness of forest resources governance, protection and management.The implementation of the new forestry programme through partners including Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Ministry of water and Environment (also overall coordinator `of the Forestry Programme and Forest partnership) is closely aligned with the roll-out of the EU Forest Partnership.The Forest Partnership aims to enable forests to fulfil their economic, social, and environmental roles and a common responsibility posed to forests by human, social and development needs.Previously, the European Union last year committed €40 million  (over 164 billion) to boost  government’s activities to help in restoration of Uganda’s forest cover.

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