Restoring Ugandan forests through interactive radio

Restoring Ugandan forests through interactive radio

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has produced an award winning video and a new report detailing how radio is helping farmers and communities in Uganda build their knowledge and capacity for sustainable land use.

The video, “Equipping Uganda for Restoration: Radio and Apps for Reforesting Landscapes” premiered as a winner in the GLF Partner Video Awards at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) on the side-lines of UNFCCC COP21. The video is accompanied by a detailed project report.

In many African countries radio is the most efficient and cost-effective way to share knowledge, especially among rural farmers and villagers. To reach these isolated communities, IUCN partnered with Farm Radio International (FRI) in Uganda to produce a radio programme on forest landscape restoration.

Broadcast throughout 2014, the interactive radio programme allowed farmers to explore the benefitsopportunities and challenges they might face in restoring degraded land, and helped them undertake forest landscape restoration (FLR) interventions suitable to their needs. An interactive mobile phone application was developed to provide additional information.

Reaching around 4000 households in 80 villages, IUCN and FRI worked with stakeholders from inception to implementation, including local administrative agencies, farmers associations, and local extension services. 

In addition to knowledge about how to restore forests and adapting land use methods to local soil and water conservation features, resulting benefits included the sharing of technical skills on interviewing, storytelling, writing for radio, and recording and production techniques. Radio station staff also learned more on the use of mobile-based ICTs.

The project’s combination of communications training, including interactive technology and forest restoration approaches suited to land types and local needs, was an innovative approach. Uganda has committed to restoring 2.5 million hectares of forests as part of The Bonn Challenge, so there is great potential for replicating this initiative in support of this commitment.

For more details, read the original article on the IUCN website here.

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