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Finnish Donors Applaud WWF Uganda's Restoration Efforts in the Greater Virunga Landscape: A Push for Sustainable and inclusive Conservation

Finnish benefactors have lauded the efforts of WWF Uganda and its collaborators for significant restoration achievements within the Greater Virunga landscape. Their commendation came during a monitoring visit, which included engagements with local communities and various stakeholders.

The delegation, led by Visa Tuominen, and Henna Tanskanen visited Rukungiri to meet with members of the Tree Growers and Timber Traders’ Cooperative, observed Climate Adaptation Village Demonstrations, and also visited the Wildlife Adaptation Hub interventions with reformed Poachers in Kihihi, South of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The visitors praised the adoption of technologies by the cooperative, highlighting how such innovations reduce the unnecessary consumption of forest resources and improve the efficiency, utilization and improve incomes to individuals involved in restoration work.
 Tuominen, voiced and praised the positive changes in the organization of growers especially the committees and structures of accountability and inclusion of women in the tree growers cooperative leadership just one year after their past visit.
Acknowledging the progress made by WWF and its partners in addressing climate change and improving resilience for peaopl and biodiversity in the Greater Virunga Landscape, Henna challenged the actors to do more and to bring on board more benefits for people and especially women in conservation . She highlighted need empower women and youth, foster climate resilience, and alleviate the pressures of population growth and resource consumption.
While speaking to the Local Government leaders, Harold Turinawe Bamwoya, the project manager, emphasized the alignment of WWF interventions with the National Development Plan (NDPIII) and Parish Development model (PDM). He also appreciated them for continued support  in mobilizing communities to support the project.
Turinawe further challenged the leaders to embrace conservation and climate smart enterprises as enterprises with potential to to push the poor and marginalized communities out of poverty.
WWF Uganda's "The Resilience Program," supported by WWF-Finland funding, targets the Greater Virunga Landscape, focusing on communities residing in areas most susceptible to climate-related challenges adjacent to several protected areas, including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and others.
The initiative seeks to confront the primary issues of forest and biodiversity loss, unsustainable resource consumption, poverty, and the vulnerabilities of communities exposed to climate hazards such as floods and landslides. It also aims to enhance conservation participation among communities, the private sector, and people with disabilities, addressing a comprehensive range of environmental and social challenges.
© Happy Ali
Restored parts of the forest