Worktop Express Blog > Project Report: Building Skills in Tree Nursery Management in Uganda, in Partnership with the ITF

Tree nursery inspection by a local leader.

When it comes to our wood worktops, we have always had an ethical approach to the sourcing of materials. We take care to ensure that all timber comes from sustainable forests with well-established replanting programmes.

As part of our collaborative work with our esteemed friends at the International Tree Foundation, work began in July 2016 to provide support to six tree nurseries in the Budaka District of eastern Uganda. Together with their project partner – the Village Enterprise Foundation Organisation (VEFO) – the ITF has set about providing local residents with key entrepreneurial skills in tree nursery management. The project seeks to help the nurseries establish themselves as small businesses and raise 170,000 seedlings.

In the Budaka district, the local community has described the depletion of tree cover in the surrounding landscape; this is due to the increasing amounts of woodland areas and wetlands that are given over to farming. Combined with the mounting effects of climate change and environmental degradation, quality tree seedlings are becoming increasingly difficult to grow.

Over the past year, the ITF have already collaborated with VEFO in providing essential skills in tree-planting to rural communities in the district, as well as organising meetings and training to increase awareness of the importance of sustaining and augmenting tree growth. This project saw the survival of over 34,000 seedlings (and the tutelage of more than 5,600 people in tree planting and care).

Young members of the community discover more about growing and caring for trees.

The latest scheme will build on these previous successes by supporting the young members of the community as they begin to manage their nurseries as business entities, with the ultimate aim of ensuring the continual growth of sufficient tree and fruit seedlings. The project-leaders expect that the community will witness – and contribute to – the growth of 30 different tree species by June 2017.

Ever keen to exceed requirements for the ethical and sustainable sourcing of materials, Worktop Express® donated £10,000 to the ITF in late 2014, providing support for a number of community tree-planting projects in both the UK and Africa. If you would like to learn more about our stringent policies on sustainability, please visit our Environmental Policy page.

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