COP27: Uganda signs MoU with European Union to protect Forests

Uganda has joined four other countries to reaffirm its commitment in protecting and conserving natural forests. This follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the European Union and Uganda plus four other countries.

The MoU was signed by Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga Uganda’s First deputy Prime Minister on behalf of Uganda and Ursula Von de Leyen on behalf of the Europaen Union during the ongoing COP27 taking place in Egypt’s city Sharm El Sheik.

Other countries that signed the MoU with European Union include Guyana, Mongolia, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hon. Kadaga who represented president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, pledged continued efforts to have Uganda’s  forestry coverage  get back  to at least 13% from the current 11% coverage.

The president of Zambia H.E Hakainde Hichilena said, the key solution is protecting Africa’s forests in Sustainable use.

Forest Partnerships encompass the EU’s holistic cooperation framework for joint work on forests, aimed at reversing deforestation in supported countries and consequently enhance climate and biodiversity protection. Forests act as carbon sinks, and are essential for both climate adaptation and mitigation.

European Union President, Ursula von der Leyen said, Forests are essential in so many respects including fighting against climate change, protecting biodiversity, providing means of subsistence to millions across the globe and being a home to 80% of terrestrial species of plants, animals and micro-organisms.

Forests are a survival source to 1.6 billion people across the globe, thus important to take impactful actions and reverse deforestation.

We need Forest Partnerships with as many partners as possible to maintain healthy forests for a more sustainable future. Through these Partnerships, we will support our partners in sustainably managing and preserving forests; one of the world’s richest natural resources to combat climate change and conserve biodiversity as well as to promote sustainable development,” Ursula stressed.

Through the Forest Partnerships, the partners reaffirm their long-term political commitment and intention to cooperate closely to ensure sustainable forest management by improving forest governance and enhancing the business environment.

 They also generate an economic transformation by stimulating the forest bio-economy, which would lead to job creation and socio-economic development through sustainable forest-related value chains and market access.

Among other objectives, is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation by looking for ways to facilitate production and trade in legal and sustainable forest products.

The partnership signed on Tuesday, follows the EU’s €1 billion contribution to the Global Forests Finance Pledge that was first announced at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow.

The European Union has committed approximately 35% of its external action budget in 2021-2027 to climate objectives and 7.5% to biodiversity objectives.

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