Restoring the Kibale National Park in Uganda
The Kibale National Park is one of the last remaining tropical forests in Uganda. It harbours the greatest variety and concentration of primates found anywhere in East Africa and is home to at least 350 tree species. Over the past century however, population pressures and unsustainable land use have severely degraded the national park. To make matters worse, recurring fires and invasive grasses have made it impossible for the forest to recover naturally.
Since the early 90’s, Face the Future and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) have been working to restore the park back to its original natural state by planting over 30 varieties of indigenous trees. So far, over 10,000 hectares have been restored and well over 1.4 million trees have been planted. The project has provided and continues to provide hundreds of seasonal and permanent jobs each year which benefits local communities. Many of the trees have matured and provide a thick canopy allowing biodiversity to return to the park in droves.
As the rainforest in Kibale grows back to its natural state, the amount of carbon it holds also grows. The rehabilitation of the park ensures the long-term function of the forest as a carbon sink. Since the start of the project, over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide have been sequestered. This equals the CO2 emissions from 100,000 global average households per year, or of 460 million kilometres by car.
Wildlife habitat improvement
Kibale National Park now holds almost 1500 chimpanzees, one of the world’s largest populations of this endangered primate. But also the (threatened) Red Colobus monkey, forest elephants, leopards and buffalos are frequently spotted in the area.
The park contains some of the highest biodiversity in Uganda. During the project over 1.4 million indigenous trees have been planted, allowing this biodiversity to thrive. The rehabilitated forest decreases the risk of fires and also has a positive impact on the water catchment function.
We employ 125 workers year round and a few hundred seasonal workers. In addition to a fair salary, they all benefit from a medical scheme and are provided with meals on working days. This project really makes a difference to hundreds of families in the nearby communities.
The reforestation of Kibale National Park demands for native seedlings. These are provided by community owned and operated tree nurseries.
KNP is also called the Kibale Chimp Forest, as it is the best safari destination for chimpanzee-watching in Africa. So tourism provides a source of income for the communities in the area. Elephant trenches are dug to prevent the elephant from entering the fields of the farmers. Water pumps are financed by our clients for the benefit of the local population.
We work together with the Uganda Wildlife Authority on this project. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is a semi-autonomous government agency that conserves and manages Uganda’s wildlife for the people of Uganda and the whole world. UWA ensures sustainable management of wildlife resources and supervises wildlife activities in Uganda, both within and outside the protected areas.