Justice in the Forests: Uganda - Forests Fight Back| 18mins
Director: Dominic Elliot | Producer: IIED & Dominic Elliot
Focus Years: 2011 | Country: United Kingdom
The Mabira forest is one of the few remaining areas of protected forest left in the country. This rare resource has been at the center of a battle between the government of Uganda and its people, a battle that goes right to the heart of Ugandan politics, and whose implications are having a profound effect on the political landscape of the country. The film describes the story of what happened when the government announced a plan to degazette areas of the Mabira forest and sell it off to the Lugazi Sugar Company. Campaigners presented a clear argument of the economic benefits of local community forest management and the illegality of the presidentâ€™s decision to sell of the forest. Ugandan civil society groups joined hands to conduct a concerted campaign to stop the Mabira giveaway, and won. Although the Mabira forest is still standing, the threat to Ugandaâ€™s forests from commercial agriculture remains, and in other areas it is proving even harder to hold back the tide. At the heart of the situation in Uganda lies the question of governance, of who decides on the use and allocation of forest resources, and on what basis they make their decisions. The film series "Justice in the Forests" explores the question: who gets to decide about forests? With deforestation causing such havoc for biodiversity, the climate and the livelihoods of millions of forest-dependent people around the world, it is an important question. The Forest Governance Learning Group is a network of teams in ten countries in Africa and Asia who grapple with this question and believe that solutions to forestry problems lie in increasing the power of local people over forest decisions. These films show how small teams can have a big impact in tackling forest governance.