The National Forest Authority and tree planting Act 2003 established the National Forest Authority. The main function of the National Forest Authority as enshrined in Section 54 of the Act are:- develop and manage all central reserves, promote innovative approaches for local community participation in the management of central forest reserves, establish procedures for the sustainable utilization of Uganda’s forest resources by and for the benefit of the people of Uganda, co-operate and co-ordinate with the National Environment Authority(NEMA) and other lead agencies in the management of Uganda’s forest and in consultation with other lead agencies, to develop or control the development of tourist facilities in central forest reserves.
In line with its mandate, Government through the NFA has opened up boundaries and marked it with pillars: 533km of forest boundary out of 269 were opened in Kigombe(21), Kasongoire(43), Namanve(19.72), Buto-Buvuma(33.878), Gangu(17), Buwa(15.497), Kangombe(28), Mwiri(11.270), Ntungamo(3.85), WestUru(1.00) and Towa(2.00)Km.
On plantation establishment, a total of 622ha out of the planned 875haha of forest plantations were established in various CFRs including Mafuga (44.5), Mbarara (75), south Busoga (10), Muzizi (30), and NTSC (04) of grevillea Robusta planted in Kagoora CFR and Mwenge (100), Gangu 200ha.
On restoration planting, 1,950ha out of the planned 627ha were established in Natyonk0 (30). CFR. A total of 302.25ha out of 627ha targeted were restored cumulatively. These were enrichment planting of 1500ha in Mabura CFR funded by World Bank kalagala offset project.
Tending/weeding 1,151ha of plantations out of 5991 and pruned 1,218ha in CFR of Mafuga (80) ha while (1st thining-100ha in south Busoga and Mbarara (150).
A total of 17,9million assorted tree seedlings out of 18million were produced and some distributed free for under the community planting program
Government also acquired brand new road equipment valued at UGX 2.522Bn for opening and maintaining forest roads. A grader/caterpillar, excavator and low bed with financial support from USAID.
NFA advertised and seeks to license activities in CFRs to capable Private Sector Entities, Government and Non-Government Institutions and the General Public for commercial plantation development, Forest Restoration, Ecotourism, Biomass Energy plantation, commercial Bee Keeping(Apiculture).
Many projects are still ongoing which include, 225Km of forest boundary marked with concrete pillars, 151ha restored through planting and tended (weeded) 293ha, 244 ha of forest plantation were established, 13.5ha of melia volkensii seed stand was established in Katugo, 839ha of tree planting were thinned and pruned, 40,000ha mapped for industrial tree plantations in CFRs, 4,996,149 assorted seedling produced and supplied(1,912,018 seedlings for sale and NFA planting, 3,084,131 seedlings under the GoU community tree planting program, 3,152kg of tree seeds was collected.
Namayanja Rose Nsereko.