New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda Loses 26% Forest Cover

Kampala — UGANDA has lost 26% of its forest cover in the last two decades, said a report released last month by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Speaking ahead of the commemoration of the World Forestry Day, Paul Drichi, the biomass inventory coordinator under the National Forestry Authority, said the country's forest cover was receding at a rate of 2% annually.

In the Global Forest Resources Assessment Report, FAO said the forest cover had reduced from 4,924 million hectares in 1990 to 3,627 million in 2005.

Drichi said Uganda's forest cover is estimated at 24% of the land cover and is likely to decline with increasing population that relies on agriculture for survival.

Drichi said the increasing population required increased food production and energy, putting undue pressure on the surrounding land cover.

He said the consequences included increasing deforestation, forest degradation and fuel wood scarcities.

In a recent report authored by the National Biomass study used while compiling the FAO report, it was indicated that the 0.6 hectares of farmland available for farmland in 1991 would decline to 0.2 hectares per person by 2025.

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