Uganda’s success story on partnership towards building relevant Sustainable Land Management (SLM) knowledge management is in response to a countrywide crisis where the percentage of land affected by degradation ranges from 90% in the eastern and south-western highlands to 20% in relatively flat and vegetation covered areas. Specifically, degradation is linked to land cover depletion including deforestation, burning of grasslands/organic residues; continuous cultivation with minimum soil fertility enhancement leading to soil erosion and organic matter and nutrient depletion. Consequently, land/soil degradation and soil fertility emerges the highest impediments in all cropping systems across a country whose economy solely depends on land resources including majority of its population solely dependent on agriculture sector for a living.
Towards addressing reversal of land degradation while promoting SLM in Uganda, a multi sector partnership approach has been adopted with deliberate efforts and commitments led Government of Uganda (GOU) collaborating with development partners and civil society. The 2010-2020 Uganda’s SLM Investment Framework (CSIF) whose purpose is to scale up SLM practices across all sectors, avoiding duplication among relevant sectors and stakeholders is key framework under which UGACAT was first conceptualized . The idea and background of UGACAT was first conceived during a consultative SLM stakeholders meeting on 30th January, 2017 convened under the IFAD funded scaling- up SLM project in Northern Uganda implemented through a partnership between The World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) https://www.wocat.net and Uganda Landcare Network (ULN) www.ugandalandcare.org. Key national, regional and global SLM stakeholders represented by 21 institutions participated in the workshop including: WOCAT, United Nationals Development Programme in Uganda (UNDP), Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO) Uganda Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) represented by The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Conservation International (CI), Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS); Farmer Media (FM), National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS),Makerere University, Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (UFAAS), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) under National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); Project for Restoration of Livelihoods in the Northern Region (PRELNOR) under Ministry of Local Government (MOLG). Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNEFFE), Northern Uganda Social Action Reconstruction 3 (NUSAF), Among the key issues discussed during the consultative meeting pointing to the relevance and importance UGACAT included:
Since 2017, UGACAT has focused on a documentation of SLM practices primarily in northern Uganda under the IFAD funded WOCAT/ULN project on scaling –up SLM, and a few from other areas. In total 84 Technologies and Approaches have been documented and are under review preceding uploading on the global database https://www.wocat.net/global-slm-database. UGACAT steady growth culminated in its success story presented at the UNCCD Conference of Parties in Ardos China building a case of operationalizing AfriCOAT- a continental knowledge management hub on SLM