•Wetland Conservation Project
Programme for Mobilizing Community Wetland Defenders aims at confronting dire environmental consequences faced by Kabarole district; Western Uganda and is funded by the Rufford Small Grants Foundation for Nature Conservation through Sam Muhumuza the Project Coordinator.
The underlying causes of wetland destruction in Uganda has been the insatiable desire of the rich and poor to derive livelihood from wetlands, compounded by high population growth rates exerting pressure on land leading to wetlands destruction. Prevalent impacts of wetland destruction include adverse local climate modification, frequent flooding, among others.
Very limited awareness on usefulness of wetlands among the population calls for sensitization and educational programmes to empower local communities with knowledge and awareness with a view of influencing positive shift of attitude and practices towards conservation of these ecosystems.
Project is involving communities in wetlands management through:
Communications: to create awareness and raise people’s conscience about wetlands through mass media and project team presentations.
Lobbying: persuading key decision makers to realize the importance of wetlands and influencing wetland related local government legislation.
Education and Sensitization: training and developing capacity of key target audiences to get an understanding of the dynamics of wetlands, sustainable wetland utilization and management.
Young wetland defenders: This project is also promoting environmental conservation among youth, specifically targeting primary and secondary school as well as tertiary institution students. Specific activities targeting these students include tree planting in their schools and communities, organizing field trips and workshops.
• Tree planting
CSF has developed a program which engages communities in establishing tree nurseries and planting seedlings on public lands, degraded forest areas, and private farms. This program includes Community & Environmental Education activities for all community members.
From the inception of this program, over half a million trees in Kabarole district have been planted by the communities thereby increasing national forest cover and restoring essential ecosystems. With the drastic reduction of Uganda’s forest cover over the years, communities have been suffered from severe crop failure and water shortages.
We have planned to plant four (4) million trees in the next five (5) years covering all the available open patches in our project area.
• Community Environment Education
The Community Environment Education program is an educational and empowerment platform upon which all other CSF conservation programs are hinged. CSF organizes Community Environment Education activities to especially enlighten community groups like Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs), churches and other gatherings and these activities have been fundamental to CSF’s community environmental conservation programs.
The goal of Community Environment Education is to raise awareness about the relationship between poverty and environmental degradation. Issues discussed range from community’s basic needs, such as human rights to sustainable natural resource management.