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Protecting the Environment in Uganda

When funds are limited and challenges are great, environmental nonprofits must find innovative solutions to solve global issues.  One of 1% for the Planet’s newest partners, Organic Perspectives, is working diligently to promote environmental sustainability in Uganda. Organic Perspectives protects the environment, promotes food security, and helps to enhance smallholder farmers’ incomes through sustainable and economically-viable agriculture.  Most recently, the organization is promoting responsible eco-tourism in the region as a means to fund these important efforts.  

The Issue:

Over the last few decades, deforestation has produced widespread land degradation in most of Uganda’s rural areas. As an effect, smallholder farmers in the countryside face a series of social and environmental challenges including nutrient depleted soils and a sharp decline in fuel wood—the only source of household energy for cooking and heating.

Since 2007, Organic Perspectives has used a ‘three-pronged’ approach integrating community forestry, sustainable household energy, and organic gardening to help farmers in the heavily deforested areas of the Kamuli and Buyende districts. The approach is intended to reverse deforestation through agroforestry and cleaner alternative fuels, and to implement more resilient organic agricultural practices.

Collaboration & Success:

- In collaboration with our key partner ‘Trees for the Future’ (USA), Organic Perspectives has provided over 200,000 free saplings of multipurpose, fast-growing leguminous trees

- Over 700 households have planted trees from our community nurseries

- Agroforestry training is being provided to more than 30 schools

- Over 100 households have acquired a fixed dome biogas digester

- 200 more efficient, cleaner burning woodstoves have been disseminated with the help of Envirofit International

Challenges:

- The two current target districts are categorized by Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as being among the 10 most deforested (charcoal producing) regions out of 112 districts in Uganda.

- Rural farmers in Uganda depend on subsistence agriculture. With the degradation of soils, agricultural production is continuing to decline—constraining incomes and causing frequent food shortages.

 

How can Eco-tourism help:

In response to growing challenges, Organic Perspectives recently launched ‘EcoTours & Travel Uganda’ specifically for the purpose of involving travelers in expanding our work. Uganda’s tourism industry is directly dependent on our planet’s natural resources—and, as such, travelers are key stakeholders in environmental sustainability. 

- EcoTours & Travel Uganda is developing a ‘Travel CO2 Offsets’ initiative designed to create personal, real-life connections between travelers and environmental causes in the local destinations they are visiting.

- EcoTours & Travel Uganda will enable Organic Perspectives to scale its much-needed efforts faster. Programs like the “Sustainability Travelers’ Trip” will take eco-minded travelers to Uganda’s little-discovered natural places for the purpose of promoting ecotourism in these areas and reflecting on the challenges to local ecosystems.  Proceeds will be used in our reforestation efforts.

Call to Action

You can learn about Organic Perspectives here and donate through GlobalGiving or using additional donation options on the website. Donations will be used primarily for creating new Community Reforestation Centers, as these will become hubs for informing farmers about Organic Perspectives overall work.

In the long-run, Organic Perspectives hopes to use the passion of Uganda’s travel industry to promote environmental sustainability.  Through this innovative approach, they will be able to restore forests, create a more sustainable food system, and transition local households to healthier, more environmentally sensitive sources of fuel.

Please contact Anthony Kalulu, info@ecotours-uganda.org, for additional information.

 

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