The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved total financing of UGX540.9Bn (USD148.2m) to enable Uganda to improve the sustainable management of forests and protected areas and increase benefits to forest-dependent communities, including refugees and their host communities.
UGX 285.4Bn (USD78.2M) of this financing is a concessional credit, while UGX 255.5Bn (USD70M) is a grant, including UGX211.7B (USD58m) from the International Development Association’s (IDA18) sub-window for refugees and host communities.
The Uganda Investing in Forests and Protected Areas for Climate-Smart Development Project support will focus on the Albertine Region and the refugee-hosting areas in Northern Uganda.
The Albertine landscape sustains a large and rapidly growing population, biodiversity of globally important significance and which protect and deliver important ecosystems services. This landscape is also central to Uganda’s tourism industry, which makes a major contribution to Uganda’s economy in terms of foreign exchange earnings, jobs, and revenue.
It is estimated that Uganda’s natural capital contributed almost 40 percent to overall wealth in 2014, but forests and wetlands are being lost and degraded rapidly.
The project will finance infrastructure and equipment for management and protection, including through participatory management with communities, of 7 National Parks, 4 Wildlife Reserves and up to 28 forest reserves, and development of key tourism infrastructure.
In addition, the project will invest in plantation forestry and wood value chains with the aim of enabling plantation forestry to become a strong and self-sustaining economic sector.