KAMPALA, June 3 (Swara) – In a renewed effort to roll back environmental degradation, Ugandan authorities have formed a partnership with the private sector to plant 40 million trees every year.

Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment will work with corporates, including Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL), Stanbic Bank Uganda, TotalEnergies EP Uganda, and ATC Uganda, among others.

The initiative, dubbed ROOTS, an acronym for Running out of Trees, will be implemented annually until 2026.

Uganda lost half its forestry cover in the past 30 years, according to the National Forestry Authority. Some 4.9 million hectares of forest have been lost in three decades leaving only 2.5 million hectares of forest. The country’s current national forest cover is estimated at 12.5 per cent, having declined from 24 per cent 30 years ago.

Over 700 trees of indigenous endangered species will be planted by heads of government ministries, departments and agencies, heads of diplomatic missions and intergovernmental organisations, private sector CEOs, civil society and cultural and religious institutions this year. Some of the indigenous species to be planted include the khaya species or mahogany, melicia species or mvule, afzelia, prunus africana, sheanut tree and canarium species, among others.