The project will be implemented by National Forestry Resources Research Institute (NaFORRI), Uganda,  in collaboration with partners from Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI). It focuses  on the following activities:

• Restoring highlands of Eastern Africa by planting African alpine bamboo (Yushania alpina syn. Arundinaria alpina). Bamboo has been selected following its degradation in most of the places where it occurs, yet reports show how bamboo can restore degraded lands and forests, store carbon and supply energy to millions of rural communities.

• Identifying and documenting germplasm sources and multiplying high quality germplasm to be used for reforestation.

• Participating in reforestation in selected areas while advocating for reforestation and supply of seedlings of bamboo in other areas. The selection of areas will be guided by the proneness of the areas to climate effects e.g. landslides, erosion, fires among others

• Increase environmental awareness among community members surrounding these highlands and other reserved areas and educating local communities to practice sustainable harvesting of the species.

• Supplying good quality germplasm to the communities in the highland areas for management on farms.

Objectives and beneficiaries

The major objectives are:

- To characterize the nutritional, genetic, propagation and adaptability traits of bamboo for purposes of restoring with high quality germplasm the highlands of Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya.
- To raise, distribute and plant high quality germplasm of bamboo in the selected sites
- To raise awareness on issues of environmental sustainability to the communities surrounding the highland areas

Strong points of the practice

The project addresses the serious problem of degradation in East Africa’s highlands caused in part by underemployment especially among the youth and lack of alternative sources of livelihoods. The work will improve the conditions of degraded highlands, and contribute towards socio-economic wellbeing of the local communities through diversification and commercialization of bamboo products. Capacity building outcomes include: improved analysis, propagation and germplasm characterization skills resulting from trained technicians, scientists, interns and relevant stakeholders (farmers/local communities, forest managers).

The practice will offer clear multiple benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation through environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Restoration of highland ecosystems will increase green cover in these highlands which will reduce landslides and soil erosion in these land slide prone areas hence increase nature’s and societies’ resilience against climate change impacts.
Besides, the edible bamboo will enhance nutrition and health of the people but also the economic resilience given the demand of the bamboo products. Economic resilience reduces further destruction to ecosystem with implications to climate change.

Replicability potential of the practice

Highland areas in Africa face similar degradation challenges. Optimized propagation and restoration protocols can be replicated since the African Alpine Bamboo (Yushania alpina) is vastly spread in many highland areas of Africa.
Training materials (e.g. booklets, leaflets, pamphlets etc), source of germplasms (i.e. tree seeds which are locally not available) and technical backstopping will be readily available to facilitate this.

[Editor's Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.]