PRESS RELEASE/VICTORY: Important Ugandan Protected Area Saved from “Deforestation Biofuels”, 2nd Major Rainforest Spared in a Week

Uganda's government has scrapped plans to convert thousands of hectares of rainforest into a palm oil plantation. The government said it could not license Kenyan company Bidco to plant palm for biofuels in what is now a protected forest on Bugala island in Lake Victoria. Days earlier, the Ugandan government suspended for further study a separate proposal to give 7,000 ha of mainland Mabira forest reserve to a sugar grower. The Mabira victory was huge as the bulldozers were ready, and it is expected further study will kill the project.
These two major rainforest conservation victories were made possible by an unprecedented national protest campaign to protect Uganda's dwindling forest reserves, buttressed by international protest facilitated exclusively by EcoInternet. Over the past year President Yoweri Museveni has faced intense opposition, including peaceful protests sadly turned violent, over proposals to give private firms the right to bulldoze protected forests to create plantations. EcoInternet alone generated some 1.8 million protest emails to the Ugandan parliament and Forest Authority.


Uganda has long faced a deforestation crisis, with forests covering 20 percent of Uganda 40 years ago, but now just seven percent. Deforestation has been directly responsible for declining levels of waters in Lake Victoria and River Nile resulting in a scarcity of drinking water and reduction in hydroelectric energy production. Some one-third of Mabira Forest Reserve, about 7,000 hectares of an area which has been protected since 1932, was to lose its protection for sugar cane production by the Mehta Group. Mabira is a watershed for two rivers contributing to the Nile, an ecological stabiliser between two industrial towns and it protects Lake Victoria.
Dr. Barry, EcoInternet's President notes, “The Ugandan people have set important precedents regarding the sanctity of protected area status, the importance of standing rainforest ecosystems for national development, and perhaps set the stage for a large and effective home grown African environmental movement. They are to be congratulated, as are those thousands of global citizens that stood with them against unnecessary further diminishment of Uganda's rainforest legacy.”
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dr. Glen Barry
President
EcoInternet, Inc.
P.O. Box 433
Denmark, WI 54208
USA
GlenBarry@EcologicalInternet.org
+1 920 776 1075 phone
EcoInternet's projects include:
EcoEarth.Info — http://www.EcoEarth.Info/
Climate Ark — http://www.climateark.org/
Forests.org — http://forests.org/
Water Conserve — http://www.waterconserve.org/
Rainforest Portal — http://www.rainforestportal.org/
Ocean Conserve — http://www.oceanconserve.org/
My.EcoEarth.Info — http://My.EcoEarth.info/

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8 Responses

  1. Kate Beck says:

    Yes! That's wonderful news. I lived in Uganda for a year and Ugandans are lovely, kind people. I'm so glad to see that regular citizens' actions can make a difference!

  2. Maria Sforna says:

    Fantastic news! Watch out that Gran Prix is threatning the use of biofuels in their cars in the future! that will be definetely a threat to rainforests all over the word especially if Shell has anything to do with it!

  3. Woohoo! It is great that it has come from without and within. The rainforests are in safe hands.

  4. Patti Ladd says:

    This is absolutely wonderful news. From little things big things grow.

  5. James Vicars says:

    I'm very glad to hear about this important victory – for now. But how vulnerable are these areas, really, to repeated attempts by these foreign companies to get the resources? These companies are not likely to ever give up – how secure are these victories for the future? Will Uganda retain international support to keep these forests in the long term?

  6. Julie says:

    More victories please!
    Julie
    ~~~~~~~~~
    “The universe is change, our life is
    what our thoughts make it”
    – Marcus Aurelius

  7. Dorene Rew says:

    Hi Dr. Barry,
    I am happy for you and for all of us about Uganda's decision. I hope the UN will help other countries get paid not to build oil and gas pipelines through the rainforest. I write to the Canadian government every chance I get. However the only federal parties with a real stance on the environment/global warming are the NDP and the Green Party. Barring a national uprising by citizens, they are not likely to win the next election. I pray for that anyhow.
    But carry on as will I. What else can we do? I'm in this fight for the long haul and I expect you are as well.
    I did get to the post office and mailed you a $US20 postal money order on the 25th.
    Dorene Rew

  8. Julie Clarke says:

    congratulations may your keep the courage to save these forests for generations yet to come

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