Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni continues to pursue plans to destroy large areas of the Mabira Forest Reserve, Uganda's most important intact and protected rainforest. Some one-quarter of the reserve, about 5,000 hectares of an area which has been protected since 1932, will lose its protection for sugar cane production by the Mehta Group of India's "Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited" (Scoul). The project was thought to have been defeated in 2006-2007 by spontaneous, home-grown rainforest protection protests. Ecological Internet led the successful international campaign to cancel the project, sending a deluge of millions of protest emails - yet it has again emerged, illustrating no rainforest is protected for long.
The Mabira Forest Reserve, on the north shore of Lake Victoria, is home to 300 bird species, 312 tree species and 199 butterfly species as well as rare primates, and plays a vital role in the country's ecosystem, storing carbon and regulating rainfall. Mabira is a watershed for two rivers contributing to the Nile, and an ecological stabilizer between two major industrial towns. Over 50% of Uganda's forests have been lost since the 1970s. Deforestation has been directly responsible for declining levels of waters in Lake Victoria, the River Nile and other rivers resulting in a scarcity of drinking water and reduction in hydroelectric energy production. The forest’s removal would bring drier weather, destroy local firewood and home building supplies, reduce ecotourism, and hurt crop yields.
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Uganda's remaining ancient rainforests provide the water, air and soil necessary to sustain its citizens
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