18 October 2019 – Uganda becomes fourth INBAR Member State to approve National Bamboo Strategy and Action Plan with support from INBAR’s Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme.
Following the release of China’s Bamboo Action Plan in 2012, INBAR’s Member States have been developing their own bamboo strategy and action plans to facilitate the sustainable use of their bamboo resources. Ecuador and Ethiopia have already ratified their respective bamboo strategies. These documents have been developed by Member State governments with technical and operational support from INBAR and other Member States, drawing on their experience.
INBAR’s Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme, implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, has supported the Ugandan Forest Sector Support Department, the National Forestry Authority and the Ministry of Water and Environment to develop the National Bamboo Strategy and Action plan.
The development of the bamboo strategy and action plan comprised a consultative process involving a wide range of stakeholders. Two national level stakeholder consultation workshops and a series of internal reviews from task forces and senior management of the Ministry of Water and Environment contributed to the development and validation process.
The plan was approved and released by Hon. Dr. Goretti Kitutu Kimono, Uganda’s Minister of State for Environment on 24 September 2019 in Kampala during the Joint Review of the Water and Environment Sector 2018/2019, which is co-organised by the Government of Uganda and its partners. At the ceremony, Dr. Goretti said:
“This strategy will go a long way in redeeming the bamboo industry in this country. Bamboo could help Uganda to restore forests and create jobs. Embracing bamboo production and value addition of the production chain will help us to increase our GDP.”
The citation was read by the Commissioner of Forestry at the Ministry of Water and Environment, Mrs. Adata Margaret, who said:
“The successful implementation of this strategy is dependent on collective responsibility, as the bamboo subsector has a wide range of stakeholders participating. Its implementation will contribute to the restoration of degraded landscapes as determined by the Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities Assessment undertaken in 2016, as well as contribute to meeting the obligation as stipulated in our Vision 2040 to revert back forest cover to 24% by 2040 from the current 12.4%.”
The focus of the bamboo strategy in Uganda is on management of the country’s bamboo resources to provide economic, social and environment benefits for all. The vision, goal, guiding principles, strategic objectives and strategies are all tailored towards achieving a viable and sustainable bamboo industry in Uganda. The strategy is in line with international obligations to which Uganda is a signatory, like the UN Sustainable Development Agenda, as well as with national policies and planning frameworks like the Uganda Vision 2040, the Uganda Forestry Policy 2001, the National Forest Plan 2012, the National Land Use Policy 2013, and the National Energy Policy 2002.
The overall goal of the bamboo strategy is to ensure coordinated development of bamboo industry to propel green economic development, and production of high value products targeting domestic, regional and international markets. Key targets include:
- Uganda aims to restore 2.5 million ha of forest landscape by 2030. The Ministry of Water and Environment projects that 15% (375,000 ha) of this target will be contributed by planting and or managing bamboo. 28% (104,000 ha) of this restoration will be on government land and 72% (271,000 Ha) will be on private land. The short term goal (2019-2024) is to plant 70,000 ha (30,000 ha on government land and 40,000 Ha on private land) and in addition to restore 15,000 ha of natural bamboo. An estimated 140 million bamboo poles will be produced per year. It is envisaged that 150,000 full time jobs will be created.
- In the long term (2025-2040), it is envisaged that additional 230,000 ha of planted bamboo will have been established on farm and additional 60,000 ha of natural bamboo forest will be regenerated. By that time, 700,000 full time jobs will have been created. An estimated 460 million bamboo poles will be produced per year from the venture by 2040.
The National Strategy and Action Plan outlines the resources, challenges and opportunities for the country to achieve this vision. The key strategic and specific objectives are:
Four strategic objectives have been developed to guide the bamboo industry development:
- Increase production and productivity of bamboo forests in Uganda.
- Increase return on investment in bamboo industry through processing and value addition.
- Improve knowledge management in bamboo industry through awareness creation, education and research.
- Improve governance and institutional arrangement to support the bamboo industry.
Ten specific objectives with corresponding specific actions have been developed to support bamboo industry development.
The specific objectives are:
- 1. Identify and develop bamboo clusters.
- 2. Manage natural bamboo on protected areas/government land.
- 3. Promote bamboo plantations on government and private land.
- 4. Produce and supply quality planting materials.
- 5. Develop bamboo SME growth and industry.
- 6. Support bamboo market development.
- 7. Support bamboo education, training and research.
- 8. Develop communication and knowledge management systems.
- 9. Facilitate enabling environment.
- 10. Create institutions and governance mechanisms.
INBAR’s Dutch-Sino East Africa Programme will conclude in December 2019 after two years. To read more about the Programme, see here.