On October 1, 2022, the Restore Africa program will be launched in Uganda to enable 350,000 farming households to be more climate resilient. Restore Africa will work in 36 districts to improve degraded farms in Southwestern Uganda, Karamoja and Mount Elgon regions.
This new initiative is not business as usual, as it will be funded by a private sector company called Climate Asset Management through the Global EverGreening Alliance. Climate Asset Management will finance this land restoration work with a consortium of agencies led by Catholic Relief Services, with CARE International, ECOTRUST, Uganda Landcare Network, World Agroforestry Centre (CIFOR-ICRAF) and World Vision, with overall management supported by the Global Evergreening Alliance.
The Restore Africa project in Uganda, is part of a much larger program that will restore 1.9 million hectares of land, supporting 1.5 million smallholder farming families across six countries – Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. The commitment, first announced by the Global EverGreening Alliance with Climate Asset Management at COP26 in Glasgow is one of the largest land restoration programs in the world and will significantly contribute to the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), which aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
Climate Asset Management will use an innovative financing mechanism to provide funds to Restore Africa, that connects several international agencies with grassroots farmers to make restoration happen on a massive scale. The land restoration is an urgent task given the rapidly changing climate and the need to climate proof Ugandan farmers and their farming systems. The land restoration strategy will plant trees and sequester
sufficient carbon to generate some 20 million carbon credits, now called Internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMO’s). This will enable the private sector and industries working with Climate Asset Management, to offset their carbon emissions as they transition to a net zero model.
Not just trees! The restoration process, however, is not about just planting trees. Across the 36 districts, the restore Africa technical support teams will work with farming communities to upgrade and improve existing agroforestry practices and integrate trees into various farming systems to improve soil and water management and contribute to improved livelihoods. In the high production areas of southwest Uganda, farmers will integrate trees that support and enhance their production systems and value chains. Examples include improved shade management in coffee and banana farming system. Farmers will also explore options to plan fruit trees, and flowering trees to provide shade and build secure boundary fences in vanilla farms. In the savannah areas of Karamoja, restore Africa, will work to use trees in reducing soil water loss and improve pasture management. All this work will contribute to reducing erosion, improving crop yields, promoting crop diversification and creating new employment opportunities particularly for women and youth.
But, at the same time, growing millions of trees to improve farming systems across Uganda, will also be using trees to capture carbon from the atmosphere and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“We are thrilled that after years of effort, the Restore Africa program is finally starting. We are grateful to the Ministry of Water and the Environment, our consortium partners, Climate Asset Management, and the Global Evergreening Alliance for their support and leadership to get us here. In the years to come, we will collaborate
to strengthen green and sustainable livelihoods to Ugandan smallholder farmers, while contributing to Uganda’s NDP3, Vision 2040, and the fight against climate change,” says Niek de Goeij, Chief of Party for the
project in Uganda.