Reforesting South Sudanese refugee camps:
Palorinya in northern Uganda is the second-largest refugee camp in Uganda, home to more than 180,000 South Sudanese refugees. In dryland areas like Palorinya, further loss of trees in dry forests leads to desertification, increased drought, and decreased food security due to irreversible soil loss and productivity. After a successful small-scale pilot, which demonstrated how community tree planting and tree care training can increase food security, WildFF has begun a landscape-scale research initiative to understand how to protect and restore forests in and around refugee settlements.
Understanding conservation best practices within refugee communities
Educational workshops and trainings
Both the reforestation and cookstove initiatives were led by refugee volunteers, providing them with additional income. There are about 275 volunteers who are trained in seedling care and/or cookstove construction. They also receive climate adaptation training so they may transfer this knowledge at monthly sensitization meetings. Attendance at these community workshops range from 200 to 500 attendees. Here, the volunteers educate on agroforestry best practices, reforestation efforts, and climate change resiliency. These topics are discussed within the social context of existing conflicts, such as the local firewood crisis and food scarcity.
In total, the data collected from these initiatives seek to improve the
efficacy of efforts by relief agencies and government agencies to conserve forests when people are displaced. The knowledge we generate in northern Uganda will not only
help to conserve local forests and improve the lives of tens of thousands of people but enable WildFF to contribute to the development of improved conservation practices worldwide.