ECOTRUST holds an annual stakeholder event each year to provide feedback and accountability to key partners and stakeholders regarding the organization’s interventions and aspirations. In 2022, the theme of the event was “Resilience in the Face of Increasing Crisis: Strengthening Partnerships for Climate Resilient Landscapes.” The event highlighted the strategic, collaborative, and innovative conservation partnerships that ECOTRUST has formed to build community resilience to climate change and other environmental stressors.
ECOTRUST shared its key roles in expanding conservation in Uganda, recognized smallholder farmers through an award ceremony, and showcased conservation innovations from all operational landscapes. The event also featured an award ceremony recognizing three Communal Land Associations as recipients of seed capital from the MoMo4C Programme. The ECOTRUST Executive Director, Pauline Nantongo Kalunda, facilitated the event, which was held both physically and online, with the central event center at Mestil Hotel Kampala acting as the coordinating hub for the main presentations from ECOTRUST Programme staff.
During the event, various ECOTRUST staff members gave presentations on different conservation projects. For instance, Winnie Namirya, the Kasese Programme Assistant, delivered a presentation on “Market-Based Incentives to Promote Smallholder Led Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) as a Business,” focusing on the Rwenzori Landscape as a case study. The presentation highlighted the success of the Trees for Global Benefit (TGB) program, which has resulted in the establishment of a complete business ecosystem around landscape restoration in Kasese District. The TGB program has supported close to 14,000 smallholder farmers who have invested in the establishment of woodlots of mixed native trees, planting close to 2.8 million indigenous trees that are expected to sequester 2.2 million tCO2.
Proscovia Kisembo, ECOTRUST’s Murchison Falls Program Coordinator, gave a presentation on investment partnerships for habitat connectivity and sustainable livelihoods, using the Budongo-Bugoma Corridor Restoration Program as a case study. The program aims to conserve over 50,000 hectares of natural forest by securing and restoring corridor connectivity between Bugoma and Budongo Forest Reserves in Western Uganda. ECOTRUST is mobilizing resources from World Land Trust, IUCN Netherlands, TEPU, and others to implement the investment plan.
Another presentation by the ECOTRUST Rubirizi-Mitooma Programme Assistant-Innocent Byamukama discussed co-financing arrangements to protect natural capital in protected areas and generate benefits for local communities and biodiversity. The presentation highlighted the community investments in Collaborative Forest Management sites and mobilization of financing from carbon sales and product sales from businesses in the Queen Elizabeth Landscape.
In her presentation on program development and growth, Judith Nyiramugisha – the Mount Elgon Program Coordinator showcased how the TGB model is being used to support the Mpologoma Catchment Landscape in the Mount Elgon region. This is done through community engagement using the Gender Action Learning System (GALS)-based visioning and digital migration with FarmTrace and GALS-based value chain development.
Ms. Mary Kasumbazi, the ECOTRUST Board Treasurer, presented the organization’s financial performance for 2022, revealing that the organization raised US$ 4,130,463.9 from the business portfolio. Mr. Isaac Kapalaga, the ECOTRUST Board Chair, highlighted the organization’s four strategic objectives guiding the implementation of the new five-year strategic plan from 2022 to 2026.
The MoMo4C programme awarded seed capital to three communal land associations, recognizing their efforts to protect natural capital and generate benefits for local communities and biodiversity. The event also included an award ceremony to recognize smallholder farmers who have invested in the sustainable land management practices through the Trees for Global Benefit program. These farmers have contributed to the sequestration of 2.2 million tCO2, demonstrating the important role of smallholders in building climate-resilient landscapes.
The event came to a close with mesmerizing musical performances from Suubi Namubiru, leaving everyone in attendance feeling uplifted and inspired. As a parting note, the online participants were encouraged to visit the virtual exhibition booths to gain further insight into ECOTRUST’s conservation initiatives.
Story Map Presentations
Market-Based Incentives to promote Smallholder -Led Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) As a Business (RAAB) Delivered