Uganda becomes the first African country to submit REDD+ results to the UNFCCC
Uganda has become the first African country to submit REDD+ results to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), paving the way to potential results-based payments. In its recent submission of the REDD+ Technical Annex to the biennial update report (BUR), a reporting requirement for results-based payments, Uganda submitted Emission Reductions of 8 million tCO2 for 2016-2017.
Uganda’s commitment to protect its forests
Uganda’s lush tropical jungles, rainforests, savannahs, lakes and rivers are home to an astonishing array of biodiversity. In addition to supporting wildlife, so vital for the country's future heritage and tourist industry, Uganda's forest resources are an essential foundation for the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. However, these valuable forest resources are disappearing rapidly.
In 2013, to protect Uganda’s forests, the Government of Uganda launched its own REDD+ Programme, demonstrating its commitment to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
In 2017, the country submitted its first Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL) of historical average emissions from deforestation for the period 2000 to 2015. Following this submission, the Government decided to assess the country’s performance in reducing emissions for the period 2015-2017 and to further improve estimates of forest change and associated emission factors by forest type. The inclusion of a number of additional carbon pools was also further explored, as recommended by the UNFCCC’s Technical Assessment of the Forest Reference Level.
Through financial support from both the UN-REDD Programme and from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) over the last five years, FAO’s National Forest Monitoring team has provided technical support to Uganda’s National Forestry Authority (NFA) and Forest Sector Support Department (FSSD). The aim of the technical support has been to strengthen and enhance the country’s national forest monitoring system (NFMS) and to enable Ugandan counterparts to more readily monitor progress on slowing the rate of deforestation.
The institutionalization of an NFMS in Uganda has been designed to ensure that the Ministry of Water and Environment, the National Forest Authority and other related institutions responsible for the Ugandan forest estate have the capacity to measure and report forest-related carbon emissions by activity and in a transparent and verifiable manner.
Under a recently completed FCPF-financed REDD+ readiness grant, FAO supported the completion of a National Forest Inventory (NFI) (adding deadwood to the data collected) as well as updates to activity data on forest cover change using Open Foris SEPAL, and strengthening technical capacities in the inventory and GIS teams. The activity data allowed Uganda to assess the country’s performance in reducing emissions for the most recent period 2015-2017.
The results of the assessment have also indicated that nationally, deforestation was reduced from an average of 50,147 ha/year over the 15-year reference period (2000-2015) to 28,095 ha/year over the 2-year results period (2015-2017).
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