A RECAP INTO THE NATIONAL FOREST WEEK AND THE NATIONAL FORESTRY DAY CELEBRATIONS
HOSTED BY: RUKUNGIRI DISTRICT LOCAL GOVERNMENT-WESTERN UGANDA
PREPARED BY: MATOVU PAUL & NABATTE PAULINE
The International Forestry Day, the 21st day of March, was established by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012. Since then, celebrations have been held world over, Uganda inclusive. We are proud to say that we have been part of the celebrations since 21st March 2013 when the first National celebrations were held at Makerere University and we planted the First IDEAS Tree and Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala. We have since then continued to plant trees every year as part of our effort to replant 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests lost annually, an area roughly the size of England!
While a special event for the International Day of Forests, entitled “: Create a Climate Smart Future” was being held on 20 March 2015 at United Nations Headquarters in New York in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber, IDEAS For Uganda leaders were educating, empowering and engaging students from local schools in Rukungiri about Trees For Climate justice at St. Paul’s Vocational school katojo. The event was attended by District level leaders; the District Forest Officer, Mr. Arthur Twinomujuni, the District Education Officer, Mr.Baribusya, the Chief Administrative officer, Mr. Kato Milton. The chief Guest, Hon. Charles Byabakama was represented by Hon. Mackline Sabiti.
Following our presentation about the climate crisis and Tress for Climate Justice, we planted eight (8) hectares on district land. The District Forestry Officer demonstrated to the ambassadors how to handle plant and care for the trees. The ambassadors were also introduced to the best silvicultural practices by the facilitating team comprising of members from the District Forestry Services and IDEAS For Uganda. We are proud to mention that eighty students graduated as climate justice ambassadors that day and they were awarded with t-shirts and “Tree by Tree” text books donated by our partners of Plant for The Planet.
We wish to thank all those who participated in the World Forestry Week, especially those who made it for the National celebrations in Rukungiri at Rukungiri stadium on the Saturday the 21st of March. We also extend our sincere gratitude to members of the ENR, the Ministry of Water and Environment and Rukungiri who concurrently organized the National Forestry Consultative Forum at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
It was an honor to have the Minister of Water and Environement Hon. Ephraim kamuntu who represented His Excellency the president of Uganda at the National celebrations at Rukungiri stadium and state Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Flavia Munaaba for honouring this event. Special thanks go to all the ministers, members of parliament, members of the ENR, Makerere university students; IDEAS For Makerere, FAMU and MUCA representatives and the general public for making the forestry week a success.