Establishing seed collecting networks and community nurseries to ensure Uganda’s Bonn Challenge pledge brings benefits to people and biodiversity

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Godfrey Ruyonga

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The Uganda Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunity Assessment, published by the Ugandan government and IUCN, states that 17% of Uganda’s land is severely degraded, 30% highly degraded, and 31% moderately degraded. This has serious implications for Uganda’s long-term development and causes the loss of 4-12% of Uganda’s GDP annually. Under The Bonn Challenge, Uganda has pledged to restore 2.5 million hectares by 2020 and aims to plant 200 million trees in priority areas to improve human well-being and ecological productivity. This represents an opportunity for biodiversity conservation and job creation. Uganda has more than 800 native tree species, 30 of which are globally threatened. However, government and commercial nurseries in Uganda focus on a small number of species, most of which are exotic. Tooro Botanical Gardens runs the largest indigenous tree nursery in Uganda and has worked in collaboration with local communities for over a decade to carry out successful forest restoration projects that bring benefits to nearby communities. Based on lessons learnt, Tooro Botanical Gardens and partners have established seed collecting networks and high diversity nurseries across Uganda that employ people in rural areas to grow a supply of high-quality indigenous seedlings for forest landscape restoration. This intervention is demonstrating that large-scale restoration targets can be met in a way that benefits people and biodiversity.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration