World Forest Day 2013

Makerere University leaders of IDEAS join partner organizations for the World Forest Day 2013

To make up for the world’s loss of trees in the past decade, we would need to plant 1.3 million square kilometers, an area as large as Peru. Accomplishing that would mean planting about 14 billion trees every year for 10 years in a row ~ UNEP

The World Forest Day 2013 that took place on 23rd march 2013 was held at the school of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Makerere University. It was organized by the Forestry Association Makerere University (FAMU) in conjunction with ‘IDEAS For Uganda’ chapter at Makerere, Environment Alert, National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

179070_169098909910820_1884243755_n  550052_169109479909763_1363719887_nThe World Forest Day was organized under the theme Forests and Trees, Our Life, Our future”.  Over 350 students in the college of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (Forestry, Tourism, Agricultural and Environmental students) attended the function and official from the CAES, IDEAS, NFA, UWA, and Environmental Alert.

The activities for the day were a massive “Forest March” to Mulago National Referral hospital, engaging youth in chants about the importance of our forest and natural lands; Tree planting at the hospital; and finally a dialog at the School of Forestry and Nature Conservation.

The 1st tree planted in Uganda by IDEAS leaders

The function was kicked off with a band march/walk from the freedom square, Makerere University at 9:00am to Mulago National Referral hospital where a dialog was held for 30 minutes. After this dialog, the Director NFA, Mr. Mugisha kicked off the tree planting activity where over 60 trees were planted. The tree species that were planted included Eucalyptus grandis, Tectona grandis, palm tree, Pinus caribeae among other species. IDEAS for Uganda actively participated in tree planting and the IDEAS tree was planted by the IDEAS for Uganda team led by the General Secretary, Makerere University chapter Mr. Ngolobe Micheal. Tree planting was carried out at the hospital because trees are believed to be “life” and research has shown that trees help the sick people to recover faster. This explains why hospitals and rehabilitation centers have trees and are painted green on some of the walls. Besides, trees are known to be the source of fresh air and provide the favorable atmosphere that can help the patients recover faster. For example Butabika and Mulago hospitals

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After tree planting, all the participants marched back to Makerere University, school of Forestry and Nature conservation. Here, a dialog was held from 12 noon to 3:00pm where officials from NFA, Environmental Alert, UWA and Professors from the school of Forestry and Nature Conservation presented their speeches which rotated around the need for forests in Uganda and the entire world. They emphasized the role forests play in mitigation of climate change. Students were encouraged to sensitize people about tree planting and create environmental awareness amongst those that are ignorant about the necessity of forest.

Matovu Paul
Makerere University
IDEAS For Uganda

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