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Impacts of oil palm on forest products and implications for the management of remaining forest fragments

Publication

Authors: Polycarp Musimami Mwima

Uganda - 2018

Language: English

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Kalangala forests are acknowledged as biodiversity rich, with 45 restricted range and 3 regional endemic species. Checklists generated in field assessments include 114 species of trees and shrubs, 89 birds, 6 mammals, 122 butterflies and 38 moths. In addition to conservation and other ecological values, forests provide socio-economic benefits for local livelihoods through environmental services, such as from tourism, fuelwood, rattan, round wood and timber. Deforestation has led to the loss of more than half of all forest cover in Kalangala with significant negative impacts on ecological and social landscape functions, and the risks are likely to be extended as oil palm plantation are scaled out to the Buvuma islands (Nsamba-Gayiiya and Kamusiime, 2015). Although considerable efforts to engage stakeholders have now been made, partners were not engaged enough initially, nor proactive in anticipating and responding to concerns. As such, forest loss is of particular concern, but reliable and current data is lacking on the conservation status of Kalangala ecosystems that would enable stakeholders to manage the often-conflicting needs of development and conservation promptly and proactively. This assessment therefore recommends that long term monitoring is essential for land use planning that includes small-scale forest enterprises and sustainable financing strategies to maximize ecological and social benefits from oil palm in landscapes such as those in Kalangala and Buvuma.  

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