By Andrew Irumba
The GRO Foundation has embarked on the journey of restoring biodiversity in Najjembe village, Lugazi Municipality, Buikwe District, where the biggest part of Mabira Forest was smashed down by ruthless human beings.
Located between Lugazi and Jinja, Mabira is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilometers. Since 1932, it has been the biggest piece of semi-evergreen rainforest left in the Victoria Basin forest-savanna mosaic ecoregion.
On Sunday 24,September 2023 the GRO Foundation led by its founder and CEO Mr Paul Flynn, took journalists for a media tour of the various sites where trees are to be planted on a large scale as part of the foundation’s reforestation program, which is part of the 1 billion trees campaign to be planted by 2030 globally.
The Foundation also contacted Carbon Check (India) Pvt Ltd, to come to Uganda and study the feasibility of the afro-mentioned projects. Two of Carbon Check staff; Mr Maniruddin Dhabak and Vempally Prashanth jetted into the country on Friday night and were seen on the ground on Sunday in Lugazi with other stakeholders being led by Paul Flynn himself.
Carbon Check (India) Pvt Ltd is a global audit firm (validation verification body) based in India, operating in over 15 countries. The firm works with world-renowned commercial and industrial enterprises to ensure that their carbon emissions are managed in accordance with regulatory requirements set by international governments.
According to Flynn, planting these trees will focus on assurance of permanence, natural biodiversity, community stewardship and continuous monitoring. “Mabira Forest has lost 40% of its forever cover for a period of 40 years. We will replant the very indigenous tree species that existed here in order to ensure the wildlife ecosystem, “Paul said. He added thus;”People should know that a natural forest attracts wildlife and other things, that’s why you don’t find wildlife in man-made forests of let’s say eucalyptus or pine trees”.
The Foundation has already made progress towards the above plans, as they have so far planted various tree species at Kawolo hospital, among other sites, and they don’t stop at tree planting but also empower communities and through this, they’re constructing a swanky building in Lugazi where they will equip youths with skills in bakery, welding, among others all courtesy of GRO Foundation.
Paul Flynn said the skill center training will help in creating micro-entrepreneurs before finally providing microfinance for communities and entrepreneurs to fund sustainable livelihood projects and become independent employers.
GRO’s key to achieving large-scale reforestation centers on a standardized approach focused on developing strategic long-term stakeholder relationships and incentivizing grassroots community participation.
Meanwhile, the Foundation is dedicated to planting 1 billion trees and helping to lift millions of individuals and families out of poverty by 2030 through creating sustainable livelihood projects and connecting grassroots communities to the global carbon market.
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