The very first work of ECOTRUST was through a cooperative agreement between ECOTRUST and USAID for the ‘Establishment of an efficient funding program for Biodiversity and Environment Conservation’ between 2001 and June 2005. This was worth US$ 4.05 million in grant support to for the improved management of Protected Areas in South-Western Uganda (including Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park), improved wetland management, sustainable private land management, ecotourism development, sustainable utilization of fuel wood, ecotourism development, problem animal control and scientific research through support to post graduate students. Additional support has been mobilized by ECOTRUST from the US Government through US Forestry Services for enhancing financial sustainability in the Protected Areas through the development of tourism infrastructure and establishment of the cashless revenue system.
Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Climate Change
ECOTRUST is working with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the implementation of an incentive based mechanisms for the Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) project in the Mt. Elgon Ecosystem in Uganda. The project is intended to achieve watershed protection services, carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. The payments for watershed services will be administered through working with communities to achieve soil and water conservation practices that are linked to a project grant mechanism. The carbon sequestration incentives, on the other hand, are to be linked to ECOTRUST’s own Trees for Global Benefits (TGB) programme where farmers can access both international and local carbon payments under the Plan Vivo standard. Whereas carbon payments will be achieved and mitigation action will occur, the mitigation action will be as a result of adaptation practice and not exist as a stand-alone intervention.
Solvatten “Making Energy Efficiency Affordable Through Carbon Credits”
With support from Myclimate and ZeroMission, ECOTRUST is implementing a project that is making Solvatten – a Solar water purification system affordable for rural and urban poor in Uganda using Carbon credits. Solvatten is a patented, scientifically proven Swedish invention, using solar energy .Solvatten combines 3 well documented water treatment methods namely filtration, pasteurization with heat and Ultraviolet sterilization to inactivate and kill the microorganisms that cause water borne diseases.
Trees for Global Benefits
The aim of the UN SEED 2013 Global Award Winning ‘Trees for Global Benefit (TGB) is to produce long-term, verifiable voluntary emission reductions by combining carbon sequestration with rural livelihood improvements through small-scale, farmer led, forestry/agroforestry projects while reducing pressure on natural resources in national parks and forest reserves.
Rwenzori Gateway: A Private Reserve Providing a Buffer to a World Heritage Site
ECOTRUST has through its land trust programme successfully converted a 32ha piece of formerly degraded farmland into a privately managed nature reserve the Rwenzori Gateway. Through selective and gradual removal of exotics, the farmland is being managed to regenerate into a natural forest, providing a buffer to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park – a World Heritage and Ramsar Site. The Rwenzori Gateway was purchased with funding from WWF. ECOTRUST and Geolodges together with the communities adjacent to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park are partnering to develop and implement an exciting Community – based Tourism Programme. Under this partnership, a high class eco-lodge ‘Equator Snow Mountain Lodge’ and the Rwenzori Mountains Visitor Information Center (VIC) have been constructed and have been operational since August 2012.