KAMPALA —The new Board of Directors of the National Forestry Authority have outlined their strategy to increase forest cover and restore central forest reserves for sustainable economic development.
The 5th National Forestry Authority (NFA) Board of Directors was appointed in April 2021. The Board has the responsibility of general direction and supervision of the NFA in accordance with Section 60 of the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act (NFTPA), 2003.
The board in implementing the NFA the Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025, has focused to strengthen forest protection and conservation, restore degraded natural forests in central reserves and to develop and promote stakeholder partnerships in line with gender and equity principles.
The Board unveiled to the media on Thursday at the Namanve National Tree Center led by its Chair, Dr. Eng. Christopher Ebal, said they are ready for the task ahead.
“NFA must use appropriate technology and innovative approaches to enhance the production and supply of forest products and services to fulfil its mandate and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
They are determined to diversify and increase the quality and economic value of forest-based business, increase area and productivity of plantations on CFRs and increase the supply of seed and seedlings for increased tree planting in the country.
Sustainability enhancement is also top on the agenda by building the capacity of NFA Board, Management and staff to fulfil their respective roles and responsibilities. The above is to improve its systems for forest planning, management, monitoring and reporting, revenue collection, and financial risk management and accountability.
Meanwhile the Board is concerned by the unclear/unmarked forest reserve boundaries. They said resurveying and marking of the forest boundaries require substantial funding which is not attainable within the current NFA Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
Therefore, the Board and Management have decided to mobilise for more funding from Government, Development Partners and increase the NTR collection.
Lack of dedicated enforcement team to patrol the forest reserves against encroachment is another concern since Authority relies on Environment Protection Police Force.
They now want to Strengthening forest law enforcement and governance through establishment of armed wing of Forest Rangers and professional investigators and prosecutors of environmental and forestry crimes.