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The History and Di scourse of Kachung Forest
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. 2.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study examined the history of the Kachung forest plantation in northern Uganda and associated environmental discourses. The forest, a project aimed at environmental protection and carbon offsetting, was designated a forest reserve in 1939 by the colonial government, as part of wider efforts to promote Ugandan timber for export and ensure their regeneration as a renewable resource. Since then, Kachung forest has been attributed different environmental significance by various actors, such as by the Uganda Forest Department, the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation (NORAD), the Norwegian Afforestation Group (NAG) and presently by the Norwegian-based Green Resources company (GRAS). Between 1939 and 2006, the forest reserve underwent only limited changes in terms of management and composition. More radical change began in 2006, when GRAS started largescale tree planting. In 2012, Kachung Forest was certified as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. Since then, people living in and around the forest have been prevented from using forest resources for their livelihoods. They have expressed resistance to this by encroachment, setting fires in the forest and mounting angry protests against GRAS. One possible reason for this resistance is that afforestation took place with little prior knowledge of the forest’s history and value for local communities. The present analysis of the history of the forest and the associated environmental discourse throughout the 20th century was conducted using empirical data collected through interviews and from forest records, aerial photographs and GIS maps. Actor-Network Theory (ANT) was used as a theoretical framework to examine how the different actors are connected and their role in shaping the landscape. The study focused on four key areas: the status of Kachung Forest when the commercial forestry project began, evidence of recent environmental degradation, its location, and how the discourse about Kachung Forest was shaped by a broader environmental discourse about East Africa. The data showed that all external factors involved in past and ongoing afforestation processes had little knowledge of the longer-term human and land use history of the forest, and often repeated ambitions by the former colonial government. Interviews with local communities living close to Kachung and other empirical material revealed that the area maintained its savannah woodland and tropical high forest nature until 1996, and since late 2000 the vegetation and land use system changed very significantly. Encroachment by local communities was identified as arising from lack of land for hunting, grazing, cultivation and cultural activities and lack of access to water. Thus successful afforestation can only be achieved with prior knowledge of land use history and by consulting local communities. Empowering the local community’s traditional environmental conservation practices could be a better way than CDM for tackling the wider environmental crisis. Keywords: Actor-Network Theory, GIS, CDM, Africa tropical forest, human settlement, land use history. Master’s thesis in Global Environmental History (60 credits), supervisors: Anneli Ekblom and Paul Lane, defended and approved autumn term 2016 © Ghide Habtetsion Gebremichael Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Box 626, 75126 Uppsala, Sweden

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 104 p.
Keyword [en]
The History and Discourse of Kachung Forest
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317986OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-317986DiVA: diva2:1083920
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Global Environmental History
Presentation
2017-01-09, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden, Uppsala, Sweden, 01:12 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-03-24 Created: 2017-03-23 Last updated: 2017-03-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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