Planting Trees One Farmer at a Time

Opoka and his fellow farmers remember that the parish of Atiyaba in northern Uganda was once forested. This mosaic landscape of savannah-like grassland was punctuated by great swathes of tropical forest expanding out from river ways and swamps. Tree cover was the norm and not the exception, and even in grassy landscapes trees were everywhere. These trees were necessary to human survival; providing food, medicine and materials for building homes and creating…

The Story of our World

Wise Women, Uganda

This is the story of our world: For the first time ever, more than half of all people live in cities. Cities are simply something that didn’t exist for most of the human era – indeed, what we now mean by city has scarcely existed for a hundred years. For the first time ever, most humans live within a landscape that was constructed almost entirely by and for humans. And…

Greening Africa: The Practice and Purpose of Sowing Native Seeds

Lincoln Ocaya, the Forestry Program Manager for Wild Forests and Fauna’s Native Seeds Project, at one of our native species nurseries in Gulu District, Uganda

We often think of landscapes as stagnant and unchanging. Covering vast terrain and spanning many countries, the Sahara Desert seems immutable and eternal, yet its boundaries shift like extremely slow-moving tides. This process of fluctuation is natural but has been profoundly influenced by humankind. In the face of growing public awareness of climate change, there have been recent efforts to re-green Sub-Saharan Africa and to halt the long-term trend of…

The Trees of Acholiland

A quick glance at Northern Uganda and you might think that it’s another Serengeti.  It is a home to rolling savannah, to vast horizons seen blurred through the dust-heavy air.  Sunrises and sunsets are red giants rippling mirage-like, and indeed in the region’s protected areas and natural parks the iconic big game of sub-Saharan Africa does roam. But the image is a recent and artificial one.  Yes, giraffes and elephants…

A Forest for the Trees – Uganda

For most who know it, shea butter evokes exuberant health, youthful skin, and perhaps a faint trace of connection to the African continent. At home in many a bazar in Europe, Asia, and America, shea (Vitellaria paradoxa, family Sapotaceae) is also widely consumed in its homeland for a variety of uses. Yes, for skin care, and also as a surprisingly delicious cooking oil added to flavor beans. For the Acholi-Luo…