Under the Bonn Challenge, Uganda has pledged to restore 2.5 million ha of land by 2020. This pledge represents a huge opportunity for delivering species conservation, increasing biodiversity on farms, and delivering genetically and taxonomically diverse ecological restoration that benefits people and wildlife. Uganda has 849 native tree species; 30 are globally threatened.
Tooro Botanical Gardens (TBG) is situated in Fort Portal in Western Uganda. TBG has been working with local communities to bring 52 ha of degraded forest reserves under restoration and operates the largest native tree nursery in Uganda, producing around 40,000 native tree seedlings per year. The first phase of the project brought one Central Forest Reserve and two Local Forest Reserves under restoration, generated information on native species, and established demonstration sites that showcase species diverse forest restoration and provide benefits to neighbouring communities, e.g. through employment.
In the second phase of this project, TBG is now scaling up its efforts across Uganda and has established four new indigenous tree nurseries next to areas identified as high priorities for restoration. The project aims to raise awareness of the diversity of native tree species, increase supply of native seedlings and plant native trees in additional degraded areas.