Ecological Internet: Last Chance to Stop Great Ugandan Mabira Rainforest Give-Away

March 28th, 2007 8:18 pm by Kelly Garbato

UPDATE, 5/29/07, via Ecological Internet:

See also EI’s 5/27 press release, PRESS RELEASE/VICTORY: Important Ugandan Protected Area Saved from “Deforestation Biofuels”, 2nd Major Rainforest Spared in a Week.

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UPDATE, 5/23/07, via Ecological Internet:

VICTORY: Ugandan Protected Rainforests Saved from Clearing for Plantation

Whoo, whoo a major rainforest victory! Uganda’s cabinet has suspended a proposal to give away part of the Mabira rainforest near its capital and on the shore of Lake Victoria [more | search]. The significance of the protection remaining on this important Ugandan rainforest from sugar cane production (possibly for biofuel) lies not in the extent of the area — some 7,000 hectares were to be removed from the area — but more in the cooperation between local and international civil society to bring about the victory. Local activists organized boycotts of the sugar company that was to expand into the area. And Ecological Internet internationalized the issue, with 8,627 Earth Action Network participants generating 1,833,279 protest emails to the parliament that has now blocked the project.

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UPDATE, 4/12/07, via Ecological Internet:

UPDATE: Ugandan police have opened fire at hundreds of Mabira rainforest protection campaigners in Uganda protesting against government plans to allocate forest land to a sugar company. Ecological Internet is sad to report that two local rainforest conservationists, protesting to save the Mabira protected rainforest from being 1/3 cleared for sugar cane have, were shot dead when protesting as well as two innocent bystanders were beat to death. Stopping the “Great Mabira Rainforest Give-Away” has been something the Ecological Internet Earth Action Network has been deeply involved with internationally (media coverage below). This in support of one of Africa’s first grassroots modern ecological protest campaigns – with local peoples organizing boycotts against the sugar company involved, setting up cyber-petitions and text messaging via cell phones to organize protests. Efforts to save Mabira rainforest are a spontaneous, home-grown rainforest conservation protest that deserves our continued support.

Search “Mabira”…

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Via Ecological Internet / The Rainforest Portal:

Last Chance to Stop Great Ugandan Mabira Rainforest Give-Away

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni continues to pursue legally dubious plans to destroy large areas of Uganda’s last important intact and protected rainforests. Some one-third of Mabira Forest Reserve, about 7,000 hectares of an area which has been protected since 1932, will lose its protection for sugar cane production by the Mehta Group. Ecological Internet was the first to bring a thriving Ugandan rainforest protection and protest movement to an international audience. Since that time many more local and international groups have joined the campaign, and a dramatic discussion is being held in Ugandan society and in the media regarding the legitimacy of giving away forest reserves to private business interests. What is so exciting is that the level of protest in Uganda is substantial and growing, with boycotts of the sugar company and online petitions. […]

Mabira must be protected to maintain water, biodiversity and future development potential. But already the movement for sustainable rainforest use and development in Uganda has won. Maintaining and expanding rainforest protection has been established as a critical pillar of climate change mitigation, water availability and national ecological sustainability for Uganda’s future. Please contact President the entire Ugandan parliament, and Ugandan ministries and embassies and insist that these projects be abandoned, and Uganda’s remaining rainforest strictly protected as ecological reserves while restoring forests where they historically occurred.

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