The Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni met with the Italian Ambassador to Uganda Massimiliano Mazzanti to discuss an environment protection project that will be carried out in schools.
According to Janet, who is also the First Lady, the idea was conceived during a recent virtual dialogue organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Italian government.
"I recently attended a virtual dialogue on 'The Role of Education in Addressing the Critical Challenge of Climate Change', organized by UNESCO [and] the Italian Education Ministry for Ministers of Education from different parts of the world," the minister tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
"Thereafter, I thought of exploring a partnership with the Italian Embassy in Uganda to do a project of tree-planting [and] environmental protection in schools. I, therefore, met with H.E. Massimiliano Mazzanti, the Italian Ambassador to Uganda, to discuss this partnership."
Officials say 65% of forest degradation takes place on private land and on several occasions the landowners choose land-use change from forestry to agriculture, industry or settlement over biodiversity conservation.
Current national deforestation rates stand at 2% annually with an average of 122,000 hectares lost every year yet 6% of the GDP of Uganda and more than 90% of the population depends directly on forest for their energy needs, officials say.
National Forest Restoration goals and commitments include a plan to restore 2.5 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2030.
The initiative will augment other projects already being implemented in the country like the Running out of Trees initiative, a 5-year project, to end in 2025, aimed at planting over 200 million trees and sequester an estimated 15 million tons of carbon.