UN Official Warns of Severe Hunger, Poverty Over Deforestation

By Paul Tajuba

A top United Nations official has warned that poverty and hunger will continue to plague the country if the current rate of deforestation is not tamed.


Ms Almaz Gebru, the United Nations Coordinator, who also doubles as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uganda Country Director, said weather patterns are changing for the worse and there is no way millions of Ugandans trapped in poverty and suffer from hunger, will be relieved if natural resources continue to be depleted.

“Poverty and hunger will persist when we do not use our natural resources including forests in a sustainable manner,” Ms Gebru said in a speech read on her behalf by Mr UN Food and Agriculture Organisation country representative, Dr Alhajji Jallow.

“With faltering weather patterns, failing seasons and destroyed biodiversity, we will only become our own enemies,” she added.

This was at the Reducing of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and the role of conservation of biodiversity, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) policy dialogue in Entebbe, Wakiso District.

The dialogue that attracted Members of Parliament on Agriculture and Natural Resources committees is seeking to create awareness creation about REDD+ and progress on Forest Reference Emission Levels (FRELs)

According to FAO report released early this year, at least four million people were food insecure and even those who had food, they eat of unbalances.

A joint Water and Environment Sector Review Report (2016), indicated that the deforestation had decimated forest cover from 24 per cent in 1990 to a mere 11 per cent in 2015.

Mr Paul Mafabi, the director of environment affairs of the Ministry who represented Water and Environment minister Sam Cheptoris said the country has a target to plant 200 million trees by 2020.

“Uganda’s desire for Greening Economy and forest landscape restoration (FLR) is the long-term process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human wellbeing across deforested or degraded landscapes,” Mr Cheptoris said.

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation country representative, Dr Alhajji Jallow talks to Tororo Municipality MP Ofwono Yeri and Treasury Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change.

Source: allafrica.com

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