National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has tasked all timber-processing companies to identify their sustainable sources of wood before being registered or at renewal of certificates.
The move is intended to strengthen national efforts to restore the environment and national forest cover.
“Nema hereby informs the general public that effective September 6, 2022, applications for approval of timber processing factories will require proof of sustainable source of supply of raw materials,” the letter written yesterday by the Executive Director of Nema, Mr Barirega Akankwasah, reads.
In an interview, the Nema senior public relations officer, Mr Tony Achidria, said the wood must be harvested from authorised firms and each company should own a sustainable source of wood.
He said: “Uganda has registered an increase in forest cover for the last two years by 3 percent, so we want to maintain this progress by ensuring that the factories are not poaching on wood in the forested protected areas.”
In May, it was reported that during 2014 Climate Change Summit, Uganda pledged to restore 2.5 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 (the Bonn Challenge).
The country’s surging charcoal industry is destroying forests and biodiversity, and if deforestation continues, Uganda will lose all its forest cover by 2050. According to United Nations data, as of 2018, only a little over 42 percent of Ugandans had access to electricity.
Statistics add that between 2016 and 2017, 90 percent of all households use wood fuel for cooking.