More information about Matoke Tours 'Omutti'
Why is Omutti important?
In Uganda, the majority of the population is depending on the traditional agriculture. The techniques that are used by the local farmers are far from modern, with as result that the produce relatively little and the soil becomes depleted quickly. If the soil does not produce sufficiently, the farmers start looking for new land. This need for new land leads to large cutting and burning down of trees and herewith deforestation, carbon dioxide emissions and a large burden on the environment.
With the current climate changing it gets harder and harder for the local farmers to grow enough food, so farmers are constantly looking for more farmland. This makes the rainforest disappear even faster and climate change is the result.
Between 2006 and 2010, more than 8.000 hectares of the trees have been burnt by local farmers in the area the Omutti project focuses on.
Deforestation also causes big problems for the animals that live in the rainforest. Not only their habitat gets smaller, but also the forest falls apart in different pieces, so different families of animals (including, for example the chimpanzees) are separated from each other and are unable to migrate.
Murchison - Semliki landscape
Omutti focuses on the northern part of the Albertine Rift, east of Lake Albert in Western Uganda. This area connects two important rainforest in Uganda: Kibale Forest and Budongo Forest (part of Murchison Falls NP). When you travel with Matoke Tours, you will probably visit one or both of these rainforests.
The Murchison-Semliki landscape is not an official national park, so it is not a protected area by the Ugandan government. However the area is very important for Uganda. Both rainforests are connected to each other through this corridor or wildlife overpass. The Omutti project preserves and protects the vegetation, the animals and the migration between both forests.
Omutti focuses on the issues on a local level. Local farmers are stimulated in different ways to preserve the rainforest ánd make their own position stronger.
This is achieved in a number of different ways:
- The local farmers receive a financial compensation if they maintain the forest on their own land;
- The local farmers are trained in new and modern ways of farming that is less depleting to the land they work on while they produce more;
- The local farmers get education about climate change and their ability to anticipate;
- The local farmers get tools to develop more ‘forest friendly’, but profitable activities (for example bee keeping and mushroom growing) so they get less demand on agriculture;
- The local farmers are helped in creating of better opportunities to sell their products.
Matoke Tours Omutti project is a collaboration between the Wildlife Conservations Society’ and ‘Chimpanzee Trust’, the Jane Goodal Institute, WWF, ECOTRUST, Nature Harness Initiative and Flora and Fauna International. Together, this group stands for conservation. The group is also known as the ‘Northern Albertine Rift Conservations Group. Your donation is managed by the local Ugandan conservation organizations.
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