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Why forest certification is an illusion for Uganda

On World Forestry day today, Simon Musasizi explores Uganda’s efforts at forest certification, and finds that a lot more work remains to be done – meanwhile, the forests are vanishing.

Speaking to Kyenjojo District Forest Officer Onzima L P Badraa recently, journalists were shocked to learn how helpless the country is against illegal logging. Onzima was asked how authorities could verify that people issued with licenses actually cut trees for which the licenses were issued, without encroaching on forest reserves. His answer? Authorities rely on the licensee’s goodwill not to abuse the license.

“If we were fully staffed, ideally, one of us should be able to go on the ground to supervise and make sure that the trees that we issued license for are the ones which are cut,” Onzima said

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