Public talk: Celebrating World Forests 2020
Forests are the most diverse ecosystems on land. Tropical, temperate and boreal forests offer a diverse set of habitats for plants, fungi, animals and micro-organisms, consequently, holding the majority of the world’s terrestrial species. However, these biologically rich systems are increasingly threatened, largely as a result of human activity. Forest biodiversity is threatened by rapid deforestation, forest fragmentation and degradation, overexploitation and the arrival of invasive alien species. Their sustainable management and use of resources, is key to combating climate change and supporting the well-being of present and future generations.
Today, forest and woodland cover in Uganda stands at 49,000 km² or 24% of the total land area. Of these 9,242.08 km² is tropical rainforest, 350.60 km² are forest plantations and 39,741.02 km² is woodland. 30% of these areas are protected as national parks, wildlife reserves or central forest reserves.
Until recently, little attention has been paid to development of commercial forests which should have provided alternative forest products and services to relieve the pressure on natural forests and conserve biodiversity. As a result, Uganda’s natural forests have been degraded, and in many cases, the biodiversity decimated. There is a need for regular monitoring of the status of the forests in terms of areal extent, distribution, biological diversity and ecosystem health.
NatureUganda organized a public talk on the status of Diversity and Conservation of Forests in Uganda in support of International day of forests. It was during this talk, that we launched a Field guide to Forest trees of Uganda authored by Prof. James Kalema and Prof. Alan Hamilton. This public talk was held on Thursday 5th March 2020 at the Uganda Museum.