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Forests in Uganda

In 2010 it is estimated that, with its total land area of 19.710 sq km (out of a total country size of 236.000 sq km), about 2.988.000 hectares are forested. This figure was up to 4.551.000 hectares in 1990 and in 2000 were 3.869.000 hectares. Therefore between 1990 and 2010 Uganda lost about 27% of its forests and the rate of deforestation is on the increase, above 2.2% per year. Uganda is well known for its high biodiversity, hosting more than 5000 species of plants, 345 species of mammals, 1015 birds species, 165 species of reptiles and 43 amphibians. If this natural wealth has to be protected, Uganda must react to save its forests.

Forests in Uganda are distinguished in different categories: the mountain forests accounting for 19 % of the total (Rwenzori. Mount Elgon, Bwindi, Mgahinga, Kibale, Kalinzu and Maramagambo); the savannah and wetlands forests, accounting for 80%; and plantation forests, which are the projects for reforestation for commercial trade.

The 70% of the forested areas is privately owned, while only 30% is protected by the government. Particularly, protected forests are managed by the National Forestry Authority (NFA), the government body established in 2003 for managing about 60 % of the forests; the remaining 40 % of protected forests are run by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the government body which was created in 1990 with the objective to protect the environment of the gazetted national parks.