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Ugandan Environmentalists Call for Government Action on Land Availability for Tree Planting

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Environmental advocates from the My Tree Initiative (MTI) are urging the Ugandan government to allocate land for extensive tree planting to combat the growing impacts of climate change on the nation’s agriculture, tourism, and fisheries sectors.

Dr. Maggie Kigozi, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for MTI, highlighted during a Chief Financing Officers (CFOs) breakfast meeting at the Golf Club in Kampala, that the National Forestry Authority (NFA) holds substantial lands suitable for afforestation but lacks the resources to fully utilize them for tree planting. Dr. Kigozi stressed the necessity for the government to facilitate land access for the private sector to contribute effectively to these efforts.

The meeting, which took place on Wednesday, focused on securing sustainable financial backing for environmental initiatives through partnerships with key players in the finance sector. Noteworthy attendees included IMF country representative Isabella Karpowicz, and representatives from the Central Bank, Stanbic Bank, ACCA, and the MTI team led by Ashraf Enjer Ddamba.

MTI has established significant collaborations, including with the Uganda Journalists Association, to promote a campaign to plant one million trees across Uganda by the end of 2025. During the event, Karpowicz emphasized the importance of investing in green infrastructure and building capacity to address climate challenges. She urged the Ugandan government to increase its investment in climate initiatives to counteract the prevailing environmental degradation.

The MTI director, Ashraf Enjer Ddamba, advocated for sustainable financing from global financial chiefs to ensure the longevity of their tree planting campaign. “Sustainable financing by Chief Finance Officers will guarantee the continuity of our tree planting efforts,” Ddamba explained.

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Additionally, Terry Owach, the captain of the Golf Club, announced plans to conduct a biodiversity audit at the club to identify and protect extinct species and preserve green spaces.

The event concluded with a symbolic tree planting on the golf course, marking MTI’s commitment to environmental conservation. This gesture underscored the collaborative efforts needed from both governmental and financial sectors to safeguard Uganda’s environment against the adverse effects of climate change.

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