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Forest Village for Ecosystem and Soil Restoration in Uganda




Kikandwa Environmental Association (KEA)


John Kaganga


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Kikandwa | Uganda


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Technologies for soil carbon enhancement in Africa

Soil carbon storage plays a key role in climate change mitigation. However, Uganda and other African countries are fast depleting their soil carbon due to accelerated agricultural development, deforestation and soil degradation. With the growing call for urgent action on climate change, carbon sequestration is critical to achieving climate targets. African countries would greatly benefit from soil carbon enhancing technologies to sequester carbon at a much faster rate once is given much attention and assistance from developed countries. That is why as a member of 4per1000 have joined EU Green Week organized by the European Commission’s Directorate- General for Environment which is not only giving an annual opportunity to debate and discuss European environmental policy BUT Africa and Uganda inclusive. This key event in the environment policy calendar which attracts European and global policy makers, leading environmentalists, stakeholders and other interested parties from across Europe and around the globe to share how together we can restore and maintain soil health locally and globally so that we  leave NO ONE behind.


Local knowledge and healthier food

Local knowledge is inextricably linked to soil and land management and rural development. For millennia, local knowledge provided rural communities with knowledge to manage their soils and controlling soil erosion getting diverse, healthier, fresher, and more nutritious foods culturally appropriate to their population, while creating a sustainable source of food and income to improve the quality of life and economic well being. Along the road, local knowledge has been neglected or not prioritized in the controlling soil erosion which is part of Soil and land management.

Local and scientific knowledge are essential to control soil erosion

Controlling soil erosion need various interventions which include scientific and local knowledge. For millennia, Local knowledge has been linked to soil erosion, land management and rural development.

The economics of soil erosion control and restoration of eroded land

Stop soil erosion: Save Our Future by applying local knowledge as one of the means.

Soil erosion is one of the most diffused soil degradation problems around the world which can be addressed with a relatively low initial investment, when compared to the multiple benefits gained after the intervention. Stopping soil erosion cannot be achieved by scientific method application only but also applying local knowledge as well as using several interventions according to Global Soil Partnership and FAO if we are to achieve the most pressing environmental issues of our time to improve agricultural productivity, reduce degrading crucial ecosystem functions, amplifying hydrogeology to combat soil erosion which is part of  land management in order prevent and control the increased food insecurity and risks faced by ecosystem services.

Where Food Begins

Healthy soils are critical for global food production, but we are not paying enough attention to this important "silent ally,"

Healthy soils not only are the foundation for food, fuel, fibre and medical products, but also are essential to our ecosystems, playing a key role in the carbon cycle, storing and filtering water, and improving resilience to floods and droughts 

The UN  declared 2015 the International Year of Soil which  kicked  off in Rome, New York and Santiago de Chile in 2015 now more than five years in an effort to raise awareness and promote more sustainable use of this critical resource.


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Healthy soils are the basis for Health food production:

  • Soils are the foundation for vegetation which is cultivated or managed for feed, fibre, fuel and medicinal products.
  • Soils support our planet's biodiversity and they host a quarter of the total.
  • Soils help to combat and adapt to climate change by playing a key role in the carbon cycle.
  • Soils store and filter water, improving our resilience to floods and droughts.
  • Soils store and filter water, improving our resilience to floods and droughts.
  • Soil is a non-renewable source; its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future


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 World Earth Day Celebration held at Kasejjere Village in Mityana District in Uganda

On 22nd April 2021, Kikandwa Environmental Association (KEA) ,Andrew Mukuye Designers, a local company and Tukolere Wamu Boda Boda / Motor Bike Riders Association organized a gathering in Uganda to  celebrate our Mother Earth Day with the main purpose of campaigning against polluting soil, air and water as well  campaigning for reducing carbon emission from the Atmosphere by improving Forests, Trees and Soil Healthy and to Launch a Forest Village made by the grass root community in Mityana district to restore ecosystems ,reduce biodiversity and soil erosion.

 The other objectives were to offer an opportunity of bringing local and other key stakeholders together with experts and practitioners to engage in an open debate and to share experiences and lessons on the relationship between soil and climate and the benefits of soil health for Uganda as well as African continent, popularalize and publicize the work done by The 4 per 1000 on Soils for Food Security and Climate, share experiences on the relationship between soil and climate and the benefits of soil health in supporting all forms of life, and to make participants get familiarized with the European Commission, EU Green Week /EU Green Deal, UN Decade Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030,UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021(COP26) and how parties interested can get involved.

This interaction also aimed at building strong synergies for local communities and Uganda to effectively transform towards productive and highly resilient agriculture based on appropriate land and soil management to secure sufficient nutritious food, create incomes and consequently promote sustainable development. Inform the participants on how The 4 per 1000 initiative have become an incredible tool to access policy makers as well as sharing practices that can be replicated to make the most of the soil as one of the world’s largest carbon sink, and to communicate and discuss efforts to increase soil organic carbon by building up the land’s ability to draw down excess carbon from the atmosphere, forge way forward on how KEA, Uganda and African continent can access financing to support  initiatives geared towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

We also wanted see how we can benefit from The “4 per 1000” Initiative and other relevant Initiatives already active in the topic of agriculture and land use in Africa and other continents in order to improve coordination of different programs and initiatives on the issue of soil carbon storage and to see how our effort can be supported to replicate best practices for local and global adoption.


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KEA Climate Resilient Project was successfully implement by Kikandwa Environmental Association from January 2014 to December 2015.The success of the project has contributed a lot to create a Forest Village as well as making all arable soils fertile.This means that a lot carbon emission is removed from the Atmosphere into the soils and trees: below is a link

Contact Us

Kasejjere Lcl 1 Village,
Bambula Parish - Kikandwa Sub County
Mityana District, Uganda
Phone: + 256 772 494 697


Soil biodiversity and a sacred resource at the foundation of traditional agricultural heritage systems.

Kikandwa Environmental Association (KEA) working on the Principles and Insighs of FAO and Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) has managed to restore its ecosystems in its area of operation as well as creating a Forest Village.This is the information on Healthy soils and Combating climate change you MUST not Miss!!!!!!!!

 What are Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems? Where do soils fit in?

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, or GIAHS, are defined as “remarkable land use systems and landscapes which are rich in globally significant biological diversity evolving from the co-adaptation of a community with its environment and its needs and aspirations for sustainable development”.

GIAHS, which are founded on traditional ecological knowledge systems, have resulted not only in outstanding landscapes, maintenance and adaptation of agricultural biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and resilient ecosystems, but, above all, in the sustained provision of multiple goods and services, food and livelihood security for millions of local community members and indigenous peoples, well beyond their borders.

So, how do soils fit in? Soils are literally at the very foundation of these systems. In fact, in areas where GIAHS custodians are indigenous peoples and communities who are living closer to nature, soil is viewed as much more than a medium for growing food. It is considered a 'sacred resource', an integral part of life which is linked to their cultural, social and spiritual identity. Indigenous communities respect and protect soils as mother Earth, they have a deep and sophisticated understanding of nature and the properties of soils, and they know that the foundation of productivity, cultivation and diversification of crops for food and medicine, as well as raising livestock, is a healthy living soil.

Soils have many functions that underpin agriculture, livestock and forestry production systems, providing a wide variety of ecosystem services. Because of these multiple functions, soils cannot be considered in isolation but are a critical part of any agricultural ecosystem. 

The International Year of Soil (IYS) has highlighted six key functions of healthy soils, keeping these in mind, how do GIAHS safeguard this precious resource?

One of the fundamental principles of agricultural heritage is conserving and safeguarding the ’sustainability functions' of traditional agricultural systems because these functions guarantee a wide variety of ecosystem goods and services which we all depend on. By performing a variety of key functions which contribute to sustainable development, soils are at the heart of GIAHS natural agro-ecosystems.

For example, traditional agricultural and forestry systems strengthen soils by enriching and protecting their biological diversity.

Healthy soils contain millions of diverse living organisms, ranging from a myriad of invisible microbes, bacteria and fungi to the more familiar macro-fauna such as earthworms and termites. Plant roots and other farm or organic residues can also be considered as soil organisms in view of their symbiotic relationships and interactions with other soil components. These diverse organisms interact with one another and with the various plants and animals in the ecosystem, forming a complex web of biological activity.

It is important to note that this diversity is affected by many environmental factors, such as temperature, moisture and acidity, as well as anthropogenic actions and agricultural and forestry management practices. This affects soil biological communities and their functions to different extents. If this complex web of biological activity is not considered, soil health, ecosystem function and productivity is jeopardized. 

Farmers depend on soils for food, feed and a wide range of ecosystem services but soils also depend on farmers. The promotion of natural/sustainable resource management is central to GIAHS, whatcan farmers do to protect their soils in this respect?

Knowledgeable farmers who practise traditional farming know how to protect their soils because they live on the land and they have an intimate knowledge of their soils. Their knowledge and practices are important not only in terms of soil conservation but for the production of high quality nutritious food for their family's consumption and for local and global economies alike.

Besides protecting and keeping soil healthy for the production of safe and nutritious food, the concept of GIAHS is embedded in the inherent characteristics of traditional agriculture: an evolving system of practices that is perfected over time through trial and error, and by adjusting to the changing environment, to cope with socio-economic needs while better managing finite natural resources like soil.

This holistic and multidisciplinary approach is rooted in cultural/agricultural heritage.

GIAHS farmers value their heritage, and because they value their heritage, they value soils and the crops they produce. All existing GIAHS sites reveal the sustainable and ingenious management of soil resources.

The rice fish culture in China; the ancient mountain rice terraces in the Philippines; agroforestry systems and home gardening in Asia and Latin America; the Andean sites (mountain terracing, Lake Titicaca etc.) in the corridor, Cusco and Puno in Peru; and the integrated resources management in the island of Chiloé in Chile,  are  just some of the living examples and proof of sustainable natural resources management of GIAHS, where the history of protecting and respecting soils has been passed from generation to generation.

Without this transmitted knowledge, globally important agricultural heritage systems would not exist today.

How does GIAHS support farmers in the promotion of sustainable land management and soil conservation?

GIAHS adopts an integrated management approach which is multi-level, multi-sector and promotes dynamic conservation and management of natural resources through these systems. However, small-scale farmers, indigenous communities and national governments are the main actors in the process with FAO acting exclusively as a facilitator.

In particular, FAO and national partners are putting more emphasis on intervention at the local level. Empowering and building the capacities of family farmers, indigenous peoples and small-scale farmers (men, women and youth) to sustainably manage their land, water, biodiversity and soil resources is central to the GIAHS approach.

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