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WWF and New Forests Company strategize for Sustainable Forest Products

WWF Uganda hosted the Chief Executive Officer of New Forests Company Mr. Darren Lapp and the Lead silviculturist Anton to a guided tour of Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL) traversing the districts of Rubanda, Mafuga-Kerere, Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro.

According to Turinawe, the WWF Uganda Forests Markets Transformations Manager, the visit by NFC top executive is a follow up of previous engagements aimed at co-creating a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to offtake smallholder timbers and create more value for farmers in the GVL.
“The engagement is a step towards making Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) efforts sustainable and Bankable”, he said.

Harold added that the engagement envisages co-created benefits such as increasing value of smallholder timber processors, increasing quality of planting through modular approach to certification, strengthening cooperatives into stronger out grower groups and investing in value-addition to diversify products beyond sawn timber.
The CEO and his team appreciated the need to partner with smallholder timber handlers to diversify the products in order to create sustainable value to individuals and communities engaged in tree planting. This, they believe will also reduce the illegal and substandard timber products that currently flood the market and distort prices.

WWF in Uganda is implementing the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) project that identified Greater Virunga Landscape as one of WWF’s five priority African landscapes. The project seeks to establish a coalition of partners engaged in landscape and water development to set up a market led bottom-up, people-centered holistic approach to conservation and development at landscape level.
This bold initiative includes bottom up identification and mapping of bankable projects on land and water in the landscape that generate income to actors while at the same time meeting the criteria of social and environment safety and to sustainable development agenda as defined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The DFCD landscape approach is using innovative financing approach to achieve conservation through enhancing sustainable markets and value chains in land and water products to achieve sustainable landscapes. The approach involves collaboration among multiple stakeholders, with the purpose of achieving sustainable landscapes.
WWF’s Harold Turinawe (L) together with the NFC Chief Executive Officer Darren Lapp (Second from Left), District Forest Officer (Third from left) and NFC Senior silviculturist Anton Greeff (Extreme Right) discussing how to improve and sustain community restoration efforts for GVL. Location- Mafuga Central Forest Reserve.