Supply and Demand: Restoration in Uganda for people and biodiversity

Conservation problem
In Uganda, only 40% of the forest cover that existed in 1990 is left intact today. This has left 30 of Uganda’s 849 native tree species as globally threatened with extinction.
Project Goal
The project aims to help Uganda to use a larger mix of indigenous species, including some that are threatened, in forest restoration efforts to meet their Bonn Challenge pledge to bring 2.5 million ha of land under restoration.

Which species and why?

For the project 149 native species have been selected for restoration practices including many framework species that will help to increase other biodiversity and the speed of forest restoration. These include threatened species, like Prunus africana, Warburgia ugandensis, Afrocarpus usambarensis, Khaya anthotheca and Turraeanthus africana. These will be collected and propagated by communities in newly established nurseries in four areas of Uganda (Lwamunda, Ibanda, Mbale and Kagadi). The propagated seedlings will then be available to sell to national forest restoration programmes or for use in agroforestry systems on local people’s land.

A Musanga cecropioides tree in Egg Botanical Garden, Kampala

One of the target tree species, Musanga cecropioides, in Egg Botanical Garden, Kampala. Credit: Alex Hudson/BGCI

What are we doing?

This project aims to improve the information on the propagation, management and uses of native tree species. We are increasing the availability of these species by supporting four newly established community nurseries in the previously mentioned areas. This should benefit biodiversity conservation and the livelihoods of local nursery workers and seed collectors who will have training and a new income source from seedling sales beyond the project.

GTC is working with Tooro Botanical Gardens, who have years of experience raising native species and restoring forests since their establishment in 2001. Tooro Botanical Gardens has passed this knowledge on to 60 community members to monitor target species in their local forests and to collect seeds for propagation. They have also trained a further 40 community members to take the collected seeds and raise them in nurseries to be healthy seedlings that are ready to plant.

Additionally, small restoration plots close to each nursery are being planted to act as demonstration sites to show how the species grow and what they can be used for. The species and restoration practices are also being promoted to local businesses, government organisations and communities to stimulate support for restoration and the use of nataive species instead of exotics.

Cordia millenii tree in Egg Botanical Garden, Kampala

Leaves of the target species Cordia millenii, an important wood and shade tree, in Egg Botanical Garden, Kampala. Credit: Alex Hudson/BGCI

Key achievements

The four nurseries are now up and running and have raised over 260,000 seedlings of more than 100 species. This has also provided employment for the 100 local community members who were trained to monitor, propagate and look after native species.

The restoration sites have been selected and planted near to the nurseries in Central Forest Reserves that are within high priorty restoration areas highlighted by the IUCN. These have been planted with mixtures of ecological important local tree species, including some with known uses for communities. Four plots have also been planted on community land to promote newly developed donor packages that businesses can choose to support.

The threatened trees that have been propagated in nurseries includes:

Contact details

For more information on this project, please contact


This project is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) Darwin Initiative.




Did you know?

60% of Saint Lucians use resin from the lansan tree, principally as a slow-burning incense during religious ceremonies.