Buganda Kingdom has teamed up with the Uganda Biodiversity Fund (UBF) to embark on a significant project aimed at cultivating native trees across the kingdom. This endeavor, known as the “Ekibira kya Kabaka” campaign, is set to span five years and forms part of a broader initiative to revitalize Uganda’s biodiversity while addressing the adverse effects of climate change stemming from environmental deterioration. The campaign enjoys the support of various organizations, including the World Wide Fund (WWF), Absa Bank, Crown Beverages Company, the Rotary Fraternity, and numerous educational institutions.
As part of the “Ekibira kya Kabaka” initiative, indigenous tree species will be planted, commencing at county headquarters and extending to sub-counties, parishes, and all institutions within Buganda, encompassing schools and health centers.
Peter Charles Mayiga, the Prime Minister of Buganda Kingdom, emphasized the importance of Ugandans taking an active role in preserving the environment. He stated, “It is the collective responsibility of the people to restore this beauty, which has suffered significant damage according to statistics from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).” Additionally, Mayiga mentioned that the campaign aligns with a resolution passed by the Buganda Parliament, Lukiiko, which mandates the planting of a tree at every social and cultural event in the region, including funerals.
Nicholas Magara, the Commissioner for Environment in the Ministry of Environment, recognized Buganda as a densely populated and heavily industrialized region in Uganda, contributing to environmental degradation. He commended the efforts of the Kingdom and UBF in addressing the challenge of climate change and encouraged other cultural institutions to replicate similar programs.
Ivan Amanigaruhanga, the UBF Executive Director, highlighted that this initiative could serve as a model for the entire country, illustrating how culture can play a crucial role in responsive intervention policies and financing for biodiversity conservation. He emphasized, “This initiative is special because it is a model forest landscape restoration initiative and launch pad on which a countrywide program for the same will be earmarked to restore forestry in other kingdoms. Therefore, Buganda is paving the way, but also providing the much-needed example to the other kingdoms.”