Uganda map

Uganda has experienced a sharp decline in forest cover, from 24% in 1990, to 9% in 2015. In order to mitigate this, Uganda has prioritised forest restoration as envisaged in existing targets provided in vision 2040, subsequent National Development Plans (I & II), and the National Forestry Plan (2011/12-2021/22), in which the national target is to restore forest cover to 24% (1990 levels). This prioritisation was translated into a pledge to restore 2.5 million hectares of degraded and deforested land in the country, which was announced in September 2014 as part of Uganda’s commitment to the Bonn challenge.

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
20,052,000 hectares
Area of forest
10.4% of land area
Area of agriculture
71.9% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
11.0% of land area


39.0 million
Population growth
3.3% annually
Rural population

Economics and development

GDP from agriculture
GDP per person
675.60 USD

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
0.10 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
Bonn Challenge Commitments
Goal year
Date committed
Area committed
2,500,000 hectares
Potential economic benefit
785 million USD
Potential climate benefit
0.24 GtCO2 sequestered
Main forest types
Savannah and dry grasslands
Tropical/subtropical moist broadleaf forest
Highlighted benefits
National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
2,883,000 hectares
Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) – FCPF
REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal for Uganda (2011)

This document serves as a tool for guiding Uganda's preparations to become ready for REDD+. Information on addressing the development of strategies for nationwide tree planting and forest land restoration and for plantation establishment in forest reserves can be found on p.78.

REDD+ strategy options include, but are not limited to: (1) increasing biomass/trees on farmland for firewood harvesting (pg.101); (2) increasing timber stocks country-wide to reduce pressure on current stocks (especially natural forests) (pg.101); and (3) Improving grazing strategies for managing woodlands to avoid/minimize degradation from livestock use (p.102).

National Forest and/or Climate Strategy and/or Low Carbon Development Strategy
Restoration target
2,878,000 hectares
(2010/11 - 2014/15) National Development Plan (2010)

Restore forest cover by 2015 (p.95).

  • Strategy 1: Re-forestation and afforestation in forest reserves, national parks and game reserves by providing incentives to leaseholders for planting trees, and the establishment and maintenance of  forest plantations. 
  • Strategy 3: Promote commercial tree-planting on private land by instituting a credit transfer scheme for land holding above a defined tree density.

Restore degraded natural forests using the landscape approach (p.96).

  • Strategy 1: Improve low stocked natural forests using the landscape approach by preparing and implementing a Landscape Restoration Action Plan and a phased approach to sustainable forest management..

Restore degraded ecosystems (wetlands, forests, range lands and catchments)  to and "appropriate" levels, and restore forest cover to 1990 levels (p.311).

Climate Change: Uganda National Adaptation Programmes of Action (2007)

List of prioritized intervention strategies including the promotion of tree-growing in farmland (p.49).

The preparation of the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) has not only raised awareness particularly at district and community level, but also hope and expectations. Implementation of the prioritized NAPA projects is therefore urgent. The cost of adaptation is high. Even the cost of the nine NAPA projects is relatively high. This therefore calls for concerted effort by the Government of Uganda, the climate change process and development partners. It is hoped that the funding of NAPA projects will stimulate interest among the key stakeholders and also lead to changes in planning approaches resulting into integration of climate change issues into development planning. The first NAPA project involves community tree growing (p.51).

The National Forest Plan, 2011/12 - 2021/22 (2013)

The National Forest Plan (NFP) is a sector-wide national instrument for managing and utilising the forestry resources in Uganda. The first NFP was developed in 2002, in order to put into effect the Uganda Forestry Policy (2001). The policy and natural resources laws proceed from the Constitution, which recognises the strategic importance of forestry in national and local development. Among highlighted actions are the development of commercial forest plantations (pg.77), and the promotion and intensification of tree growing on farms (p. 58 and 70).

Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects
Restoration target
5,000 hectares
Integrated Landscape Management for Improved Livelihoods and Ecosystem Resilience on Mount Elgon

The stated goal of this project is to "Empower Communities in Mount Elgon to Manage their Production landscapes in an Integrated Manner for Improved Livelihoods and Ecosystem Resilience". An expected outcome of this project is improved forest cover over 5,000 hectares through assisted natural regeneration, reforestation, tree crops (coffee) and agroforestry systems (PIF p.2).

FLR Assessments


 A total of 8,079,622.1 million hectares was identified as available for restoration using different options. 31%(2,500,000 hectares) of this was translated into the Uganda pledge towards the Bonn challenge. The landscape zones, area and FLR techniques are as follows:

  • Afro-montane – 691,161.1 hectares through natural regeneration and agro-forestry
  • Karamoja – 1,775,156.2 hectares through woodlots
  • Lake Victoria crescent – 394,491 hectares through agro-forestry
  • Northern moist – 2,631,314.7 hectares through woodlots and agro-forestry
  • South East Lake Kyoga flood plain – 393,639.5 hectares through agroforestry
  • Western mid-altitude 1,039,519.5 hectares through agro-forestry


The ROAM process for Uganda commenced in June 2014 and unlike other processes, Uganda dedicated more time in bringing the key stakeholders on board, including setting up a multi-sectoral national FLR team. The assessment was completed and the report is undergoing review; awaiting final print and official launch which will be undertaken by the Ministry of Water and Environment on 29-30th November 2016. Below is a summary of the phases, and the implementation status:

  • Preparatory phase: Seeking political buy - in, awareness creation among stakeholders, putting in place a ROAM team, capacity building for the ROAM team. COMPLETED.
  • Situation analysis: Assessment of environmental challenges and national priorities,  stakeholder consultations, identification of landscape restoration opportunities, Cost benefit analysis, identification of available data sets and data sources for use in assessments. COMPLETED.
  • Assessment of restoration options and investment opportunities: Readiness diagnostic, restoration opportunity maps, economic and financial analysis and ground truthing. Completed.
  • Final phase: Consolidation of findings into a report; launching and dissemination of the report. FINAL STAGES.


The ROAM process in Uganda led to a zonation of the country into relatively homogeneous landscapes in terms of restoration-relevant characteristics, for on-going national forest landscape restoration initiatives. This zonation is being referred to by Government under on-going national processes such as REDD+ preparedness. 

The initial geo-spatial mapping provided updated information which was used to prepare the state of forests report for Uganda. The two processes went hand in hand and the Ministry has organized to launch the two publications on the same day.

A flier on the Uganda ROAM process highlighting the key findings and proposed restoration options was prepared and widely disseminated. The Uganda process offered various lessons which were shared widely including at the World Forestry Congress.

A map depicting seven classified landscapes was produced through a participatory process, including the national ROAM Core team.  The production of the stratification map involved overlays of the Agro-ecological GIS layer, with specific focus on three main attributes namely: Climatic factors, Altitude, and Farming systems.

Map of Uganda

Zone, area (km2) and main characteristics

  • Afro-montane landscapes cover 113,342 km2, characterised by Bimodal high rainfall (>1,200 mm/year); banana, coffee, Irish potato, and vegetables farming systems
  • Karamoja covers 105,941 km2, characterised by unimodal low rainfall (400–700 mm/year); with majorly pastoral livestock system
  • Lake Victoria Crescent covers 115,947.6 km2, characterised by bimodal high rainfall >1,200 mm/year; banana-coffee farming system
  • North Moist Landscape covers 132,484.1 km2, characterised by majorly unimodal low to high rainfall (1000-1200mm/yr) and majorly grow cereal & tuber crops, cotton and legumes
  • South East L. Kyoga Flood Plain covers 122,560 km2, characterised by bimodal high rainfall >1,200 mm/year; Finger millet, banana, maize farming system
  • Southwest Rangeland covers 126,593.6 km2, characterised by bimodal low to medium rainfall (900–1,200 mm/year); banana, cereal and livestock farming system
  • Western Mid-Altitude Landscape covers 150,151.5 km2, characterised by average rainfall of 1,270 mm with high variability; Western Banana-coffee system, maize, beans, Irish potato, sorgum and vegetables



  1. Ms Margaret Adata, Commissioner for Forestry, Forestry Sector Support Department (FSSD), Ministry of Water and Environment (MoWE). Email;
  2. Mr. Bob Kazungu, Senior Forestry Officer, FSSD, MoWE. Email;


Mrs Sophie Kutegeka Mbabazi, Head of Office, IUCN Uganda country Office. Email:

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