From the beginning of the year , Organic Perspectives has had a growing efficacy on embracing "Social Forestry" in the forest-dependent communities of Uganda's countryside—where deforestation has been at its height for decades.
Strategically, our standpoint is that the approach would give local farmers “a sense of ownership and an increased role in the management of their community forests”.
Presently [as of August 2012], we have set up two community tree nurseries where this has been piloted: one in Magogo, Kisozi Sub County in Kamuli district and the other in Kabugudo, Kidera Sub County in Buyende district. The community sites serve as our local agroforestry centers for clusters of 2 – 3 villages and each is led by a local “Project Extension Group” (PEG) of 10 – 15 people.
We are happy with what we are getting from the synergy. With the pinch of disappearing household energy resources [fuelwood] and the increasing depletion of farmlands due to forest degradation, smallholder farmers are now desperate on restoring their forests. As such, our PEGs are very interested in taking on what we are introducing for them. They run all the daily chores at their community sites and are prepared to expand their outreach by engaging/training fellow farmers within their neighborhoods.
In a follow-up to the ongoing activities of our PEGs in the last 2 months [June – Aug 2012], we have usually found group members maintaining their sites, or in meetings where they review what they need to do next. The attached picture [taken at a community site in Buyende] illustrates this kind of development.
We have come up with a YouTube video featuring part of the ongoing work at the two community sites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THI8bcU78zo&feature=plcp
In the final week of August, our community site in Kidera, Buyende had the opportunity that our colleague ‘Mathius Lukwago’ [Uganda Program Coordinator – Trees for the Future] joined us on a training workshop there. Mathius co-instructed alongside our team as we trained the group on agroforestry systems, transplanting and caring for saplings—as trees from their site will be planted in the coming weeks. Workshop video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JOJe4rL2WE&feature=plcp
The two sites will produce at least 50,000 trees by the end of October 2012, and these will mainly be shared by members of the respective PEGs.
Most importantly, the approach has given us the confidence that this is something that we could leverage toward project scaling while at the same time engaging local farmers in managing their community forests.
Our primary goal is 40 similar community sites. See in more detail what our establishment plan is, and how we will be able to get there—with your support: http://organic-persp.org/1Million.htm
We would like to thank our project’s passionate supporters. Please consider supporting our project in GlobalGiving’s September 2012 Open Challenge, where the goal is to raise a threshold of $4,000 from at least 50 unique givers by Sept 30, 2012—to stay permanently on GlobalGiving.
Please remember to sign up from our homepage for our quarterly e-news project update in which we will be bringing you photos and videos as well as farmers’ stories from our project.
The Organic Perspectives’ Team
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