Young people holds up banners as they take part in a march, part of the global Climate Walk 2019, against climate change in Wakiso, on September 20, 2019. - (Photo by ISAAC KASAMANI / AFP)

Uganda has become the first African nation to submit its report on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) to the UN body on climate change.

The report entails Uganda to receive results-based payments from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

REDD+ is a voluntary climate change mitigation approach that has been developed by parties to the UNFCCC. Its aim is to encourage developing countries to contribute positively by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, halting and reversing forest loss and degradation, manage and expansion of forests.

When the report is verified and accepted the respective nations become eligible for various grants and payments in contributing towards climate change.

Deforestation greatly reduced

The UN’s Green Climate Fund recently granted $96 million to Brazil for its efforts in increasing forest cover substantially and ecosystem restoration.

When forests have not been degraded, people have enjoyed greater protection from natural disasters such as flooding and landslides.

In coastal areas, mangroves can protect against storms and waves. Healthy forests also reduce vulnerability offering food, shelter, medicine, and livelihood to support some of the world’s poorest people according to FAO.

Uganda’s forest covers rapidly depleted over the years, but the government now says the deforestation was reduced by half over during 2015-17 the results period compared to fifteen years before.