On Saturday 23rd April 2022, the Archbishop of Church of Uganda The Most Rev Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu officially launched the greening program to be implemented in Church of Uganda founded Secondary Schools with support from National Forestry Authority (NFA). Please find below the Archbishop’s speech at the occasion.
Greetings in the Precious name of our Lord Jesus from whom all blessings flow!
I take this opportunity to commend the National Forestry Authority for this very timely partnership. Special thanks go to the NFA Executive Director and the entire team, the head teacher of Luteete SS (our host), and Dr. Kakuru for the good coordination.
This is the Official Launch of the Greening Program in Schools. It is not aimed at planting trees but growing trees .The program is envisaged to be implemented in the 640 COU Secondary Schools which have a students’ enrollment of over 500,000 students. In addition these schools sit on big chunks of land part of which is unutilized. Many of these schools are faced with land grabbing challenges of the unutilized land. This provides an opportunity for implementing the project adequately.
Trees are considered as an organ of nature which soaks up carbon dioxide and gives back oxygen in return, which is one of the most critical aspects for survival. Trees form the national wealth providing us with our basic needs like food, shelter, timber and fuel. Essentials like resin, gum, turpentine oil, wax and honey are received from trees as well.
Despite its advantages, trees are being cut down to fit in the rising urbanization. Ending this unwise act of deforestation is the only way to stop global warming and save our mother land from getting disrupted.
Subsequent to the above, Church of Uganda seeks to take a deliberate and more pragmatic approach with a school community to remedy these challenges. Our approach intends to engage, sensitize and power the school communities on the best practices and context specific sustainable mechanisms of food production and environmental management.
It is against this back ground that through our partnership we hope to improve this situation by raising school community’s awareness and understanding of their responsibility towards eco-systems and future generations.
Church of Uganda’s strategic plan seeks to realize effective climate and environmental management through promotion of effective management of climate to achieve sustainable development.
Looking at all the advantages we receive from trees, it is our duty to return the favor by conserving them. Despite its global importance, the felling of trees is leading to deforestation. There is indiscriminate destruction of trees at a large scale. It is causing depletion in the earth’s natural resources.
Social forestry should be popularized. Its main aim is to increase plantation by a common man so that the increasing human demands can be fulfilled. It is followed by different activities like forest management, forest protection, and afforestation of deforested areas. It is an attempt to reduce the pressure of the traditional forests.
As I conclude, I would like to encourage all of us to strongly and collectively protect the most valuable and beautiful gift of nature so that our future generations get to experience this prized possession.
May God bless you all. Thank You.
The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu
ARCHBISHOP CHURCH OF UGANDA
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