As we begin a new strategic planning period (2022 – 2026), we would like to say thank you. Because of your support, ECOTRUST has grown tremendously over the last five years (2017 – 2021) into a leading Ugandan NGO in designing and implementing market-based conservation incentives that promote landscape restoration as a business.
Our financial intermediation model has evolved into a blended financing model, through which public financing is used to leverage private and community investments. We were able to mobilize twice as much foreign direct investments for smallholder – led forestry initiatives from USD5.5 million as of 31st December 2016 to USD10.835million by November 2021. We also mobilized a total of UGX30.8 billion from private & public sources and have grown our endowment fund from UGX9.9 million to UGX20 billion.
We have stayed true to our niche, delivering conservation finance “where it matters most” – to thousands of rural smallholder farmers undertaking landscape restoration as a business. Our Programme of Activities approach has enabled us to aggregate community – led actions to achieve scale in a cost–effective manner that enables US$6 out of every US$10 committed for climate action to reach the intended beneficiary in form of direct cash transfers.
We are now working with 87 different community groups that include 10 Communal Land Associations, 34 farmer groups, 23 groups with CFM (Collaborative Forest Management) agreements with the NFA (National Forestry Authority), 8 community groups with resource user agreements with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) and 12 parish adaptation committees. Through these community institutions, the total number of rural smallholder households with PES agreements has increased from 5,316 in 2016 to 13,200 in 2021.
Our state-of-the-art aggregation model for environmental services from community initiatives has enabled us to achieve commercially viable scale for marketing and sale of environmental services. We have developed incentive models and rewards for various environmental outcomes based on the concept of equitable benefit sharing – for communities participating in landscape restoration, balancing conservation and livelihoods goals.