National Forestry Authority, Kampala, 19th February 2019 — National Forestry Authority notes with concern that there are people who have fraudulently acquired illegal land titles in Central Forest Reserves (CFRs). In December 2017, a list people with illegal titles were advertised in the print media and notice given for the titles to be cancelled. To date we have noticed that more people continue to be duped into buying land situated in CFRs.
Central Forest Reserves’ land is only meant for forestry and forestry-related activities such as tree planting, ecotourism and other activities stipulated in section 13 of the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act 2003 that emphasizes forests to be managed in a manner consistent with the purpose for which they were declared. Relatedly section 14 of the same Act prohibits activities such as cutting, disturbing, damaging, burning, or destroying any forest produce, or removing or reducing any forest produce except in accordance with the regulations and after a comprehensive Environment and Social Impacts have been assessed and confirmed by issuing of certificate of approval from National Environment Management Authority.
Today a responsible and patriotic citizen Mr. Osany Fredrick Erau of Erau’s Estate surrenders a land title covering a total of 611 ha illegally obtained in 1994, in Akileng Central Forest Reserve located in Amuria district. Akileng CFR was gazetted for ecotourism purposes and to protect marshland swamps in the forest i.e. Akileng swamp, and contribute to regulation of climate in Teso, and also to supply poles and firewood.
Going forward, NFA calls upon all Ugandans to emulate Mr. Osany and surrender titles illegally acquired in any Central Forest Reserve. We inform the Public especially those interested in acquiring land neighbouring Central Forest Reserves to always verify with Ministry of Lands to ascertain the status of land ownership.
Central Forest Reserves are gazetted by Parliament, and the process for gazetting and degazzetting is clear in section 6, 7, 8 of the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act 2003.
I would to thank everyone who has supported me in my few months I have served as ED NFA. Because of the immense support from my Minister, the Board of Directors, staff and partners, we have achieved the following among others;
- In the last six months, over 300 kilometers of boundary lines have been opened and planted with permanent pillars with support from USAID.
- Over 2000 hectares of degraded forests have been restored through restoration and enrichment planting.
- Over 2,500 hectares of forest land have been planted with new trees.
- We have raised over 10m seedlings for community tree planting
- We have new Projects and programs in the pipeline in collaboration with partners such as UNHCR project in partnership with NFA is going to fund tree planting in refugee hosting communities to reverse the deforestation caused by refugees
- NFA is working with International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) on development of bamboo strategy for Uganda. This will include development of bamboo nurseries and plantations.
- Forest Management Plans for Agora Agu and Kalagala – Itanda Falls CFRs have been developed.
- FAO in partnership with NFA are working on biomass studies, national forests inventory and National forests monitoring system. Soon we will be unveiling the new vegetation cover map for the country.
I encourage all Ugandans to abide by the laws governing natural resource management in the Country more so forests since our economy heavily depends on agriculture which is supported by natural systems forests inclusive.
Rain is soon starting. We have 35 tree seedling nurseries spread across the country ready to serve you. Please let us plant as much trees as we can in 2019.
Tom .O. Okello