In This Issue

Staff News

The organization would like to welcome new members to the team;

Robert Kaliisa - Programme Manager

Robert is an integrated water management specialist that has worked with International NGOs in water, environment & rural development

Maria Kizito Kawuki - Finance Manager 

Maria is a certified public accountant with an MBA. She's worked with International audit firms as well as national & international NGOs.


ECOTRUST got recognition in the New Vision national newspaper of Tuesday, 28th March for her 
Trees for Global Benefits Programme  that has provided thousands of farmers in Kasese district with an  environmentally 
friendly, sustainable livelihood alternative.

Solvatten on
Solvatten is a 10 liter solar water purifying jerry can that treats water to make it safe for consumption using the three processes of Ultraviolet treatment, pasteurization and filtration. This Swedish technology offers a durable and cost effective solution to accessing clean and safe water eliminating the need to use firewood, charcoal or electricity to boil water. 

Solvatten solar safe devices can now be purchased online for the Uganda market through Jumia Uganda.

Mayi Sitovu  - Saving Money and Nature with clean fast cooking;

Mayi (Mother in Lumasaba) Sitovu is a scheme that has been  created as a solution to the scarcity of firewood in rural Uganda. It  is a simple to use cooking stove that uses firewood  consisting of an insulated liner which enables efficient thermal  combustion of fuel wood resulting in faster cooking with less smoke.

Mayi Sitovu will produce long-term, verifiable carbon emission  reductions that contribute to rural livelihood improvement in Uganda.  The scheme also reduces pressure on natural resources especially  national parks.

Mayi Sitovu cookstoves are cheaper
than most energy efficient cook stoves
currently on the Ugandan Market.  They use less firewood and  retain heat longer thus saving the user  from the burden of looking for large  chunks of firewood. Furthermore, they  prevents health problems related to smoke
inhalation since they give off less smoke.

For more information, contact the ECOTRUST Renewable Energy Officer on; +256 700 150 426 or +256 787 031 149 

The Rwenzori Gateway

The Rwenzori Gateway is a formerly degraded farmland that has been converted into a privately managed reserve. This 35ha piece of land purchased by ECOTRUST with funding from WWF is located at the Rwenzori Mountains; a World Heritage site, Ramsar site and important bird area. The site is rich in biodiversity and forms the buffer between Rwenzori Mountains National Park and the community.

ECOTRUST in partnership with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and the community, is conserving this important site through Eco-tourism Development.

Take a virtual Tour of both the Rwenzori Gateway and the Equator Snowlodge
The Equator Snow Lodge

Equator Snow is a sensational destination for the experienced mountaineer, the casual trekker or the ordinary traveller. Working in close collaboration with the Ruboni Community, and Rwenzori Mountaineering Services, a selection of mountaineering activities can be organised from Equator Snow Lodge, ranging from guided mountain walks with low endurance hikes, to climbing the mountain peaks for the technically more competent.

You may choose just to rest and relax at Equator Snow Lodge with its spacious mountain cabins, and wooden decks, it is designed for comfort and relaxation.

The Rwenzori Mountains have been declared a World Heritage Site. Accordingly, the public restaurant, lounge and bar areas are designed around the history of the Rwenzori Mountains, with displays of significant historical illustrations.

Come and experience the legend that has surrounded the Mountains of the Moon, as they were named by Greek historians more than two thousand years ago.

For inquiries and bookings; Contact us on Tel: +256 414 322 573
ECOTRUST Endowment Fund : Home Grown Solutions for Conservation Financing

In 2016, ECOTRUST launched a conservation endowment fund in pursuance of its goal 'To Provide long-term sustained funding for the conservation of biodiversity and environmental management in Uganda'.

The ECOTRUST Endowment Fund has provisions for both A permanent ("true") endowment, as well as quasi endowment funds, which function like an endowment, but without the legal restriction to hold the fund permanently.

With funding from UNDP, ECOTRUST has established a carbon bank & a PES Facility modeled as a revolving fund to reduce unsustainable exploitation of forest resources and the decline of ecosystem quality, while diversifying and increasing incomes for rural farm families.
ECOTRUST Carbon Bank

The Carbon Bank provides payments to tree farmers as a reward for increasing carbon stocks on their  farms. In addition to the financial rewards the communities also receive non-financial rewards to
individual households and to the entire community in which the farmer's live. The Bank aggregates the sequestered carbon across multiple producers and sells it in the voluntary market to generate sustainable income, recapitalize itself and expand farmer participation in the program.
Celebrating the One Millionth Ton of Carbondioxide

Trees for Global Benefit celebrates the one millionth CO2 certificate issued by the Plan Vivo Standard for its efforts in increasing carbon stocks on smallholder farms. TGB is a cooperative carbon-
offsetting scheme that has mobilised thousands of farmers to work towards improving the management of productive and natural systems on which they depend for their basic needs of food, water, fuel wood etc.

Together, TGB farmers have invested in tree planting initiatives on more than 4,800ha that have sequestered more than one million tons of CO2. The sale of some of these credits since inception in
2003 already generated more than USD 6million as Foreign Direct Investment in smallholder agroforestry.

Payment for Environmental Services: Beyond the carbon copy

With support from UNDP, ECOTRUST has developed a model demonstrating how through careful design,  Payment for Environmental Services can deliver tangible benefits for farmers and other parties involved.

This is mainly focusing on using PES (Payment for environmental Services) as a tool to mobilize financing for Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Climate Change to help protect biodiversity protection and deliver improved watershed protection.

Communities in Mt Elgon, have developed Parish level Adaptation Plans, whose implementation demonstrates that water utilities can benefit from cleaner water through improved catchment
management. Lessons indicate that adopting sustainable land use plans, which reduce siltation & sedimentation, can significantly reduce the cost of water treatment.

"Mount Elgon Cloud Forest," a new Brand of Uganda Organic Coffee:

TGB partnered with Source Climate Change Coffee to create an outstanding single origin organic coffee, which is brimming with environmental, social and ecological benefits. The carbon neutral coffee supports some 300 coffee farmers involved in the reforestation around the Mount Elgon region of Uganda.

The price of coffee includes a contribution to the conservation efforts, as Foreign Direct Investment in the coffee supply chain sustainability. Each bag and tin has a unique tracking number to show the
farmer's on-going conservation efforts in the Mount Elgon region.

About Us

The Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) is a non - governmental environmental conservation organization established in 1999. ECOTRUST has developed a valued niche in 'conservation finance' and pursued relentlessly a clear vision of 'a healthy environment with prosperous people' and a mission,' to conserve natural resources and enhance social welfare by promoting innovative and sustainable environment management in Uganda.'

ECOTRUST's core values of' accountability and transparency in all our dealings, Creating value for our stakeholders, Pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement, Commitment to personal integrity, creating a culture of teamwork' remain the jealously protected business principles of the organization, guiding all business decisions and entire management ethics.

Board of Trustees

Mr Jones Kamugisha - Chairman
Mr. Keith Kalyegira - Treasurer
Ms. Norah Namakambo - Trustee
Ms. Rachel A Odoi - Trustee
Dr. Emmanuel Kasimbazi - Trustee
Dr. Susie Muwanga - Trustee
Dr. Peter Ngategize - Trustee
Dr. Robert Nabanyumya - Trustee
Ms. Pauline Nantongo Kalunda - Secretary

ECOTRUST Secretariat

Pauline Nantongo Kalunda - Executive Director

Robert Kaliisa - Programme Manager

Maria Kizito Kawuki - Finance Manager

Isaac Kiirya - Programme Coordinator. Mt. Elgon

Adrine Kirabo Kamuhanda - Programme Coordinator - Advocacy & Grants

Priscilla Nabuyemba - Programme Officer - Renewable Energy

Lydia Kuganyirwa - Programme Coordinator - Kasese & Bushenyi

Jonah Butsatsa - Communications & Public Relations Officer

Priscillar Nyakwera Wobusobozi - Admin Officer

Miriam Kajumba - Administrative Assistant - Kasese

Gladys Tumwebaze - Admiinistrative Assistant - Masindi

Lilian Kiguli - Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Officer

Margaret Nassolo - Accounts Assistant

Welcome to our first quarter bulletin of 2017. This Bulletin brings you highlights on the organisations activities over the last three months.  We would like to thank you for your continued support, it has been invaluable in enabling us achieve our goal 'to provide long term sustained funding for the conservation of biodiversity and environmental management in Uganda.'

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to send us a message! We would love to hear from you.
New Strategic Direction for ECOTRUST
ECOTRUST developed a new strategic plan to guide its activities for the period 2017 to 2021. The new strategic direction, which has been developed through a consultative process aligns ECOTRUST initiatives to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The activities developed are expected to achieve 4 Key result areas:
  • KRA 1: Rural livelihoods and resilience in high climate risk prone communities built
  • KRA 2: Private land trust management in fragile corridors promoted
  • KRA 3: Integrity and functionality of protected natural capital maintained
  • KRA 4: Institutional re-engineering and capitalization of ECOTRUST for long term sustainability enhanced.

ECOTRUST Advocacy Strategy
During the quarter, ECOTRUST initiated the process of designing an advocacy strategy focusing on evidence advocacy, policy engagement & lobbying for ; equitable resource access & benefits, p rivately managed protected areas in critical corridors,  participation of rural poor smallholders in the REDD+ process as well as reducing Illegal trade & unsustainable consumption reduced in at least 3 natural capital based value chains.
Shared Resources, Joint Solutions Programme (SRJS ) launches in Uganda

Masindi district stakeholder consultation meeting - 14th February, 2017

The Shared Resources, Joint Solutions Programme ,  which was officially launched on the 27thof January, 2017, is a five year programme funded by the Netherlands ministry of foreign affairs and IUCN Netherlands. The Programme will work to reduce the impact of international drivers/threats of ecosystem change and degradation such as the emerging Oil and Gas sector, sugarcane & tobacco growing and other extractives within two major landscapes i.e. Murchison Landscape in Western Uganda and the Queen Elizabeth Landscape in south western Uganda.  Its main approach will be through lobby & advocacy and building the capacity of program stakeholders.
The Programme will provide the Ugandan implementing partners comprising of NAPE, AFIEGO, ECOTRUST and IUCN-UCO with capacity to build partnerships with central government, local government, and civil society in order to promote community rights and conservation of these landscapes which are of vital importance in the provisioning of International Public Goods.

Gender Training
In partnership with NAPE, AFIEGO & IUCN, ECOTRUST staff participated in a Gender Training Workshop under the SRJS programme from the 16th -17th of March 2017. The workshop was intended to build the capacity of SRJS implementing partners on gender issues as well as Strengthen understanding of gender as a cross cutting issue in the implementation of the SRJS Programme.
The One Millionth Ton of CO2 under Trees for Global Benefits

The Trees for Global Benefits Programme has been issued with VER certification representing 133,364tCO2 equivalent in emission reduction.  This has resulted from recruiting a total of 832 farmers bringing 646.31 ha of farmland under improved management using the Mixed Native Spp technical specification. This issuance has enabled the project attain a significant milestone, recruiting farmers that will contribute emission reductions equivalent to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

TGB  rewards communities for sustainable land-use practices using payment for carbon credits. The Programme has mobilized thousands of smallholders to work together to manage the productive and natural systems on which they depend on for their basic needs of water, food security, energy, health, income etc. The aim is to produce long-term, verifiable voluntary emission reductions by combining carbon sequestration with rural livelihood improvements through small-scale, farmer led, forestry / agroforestry projects while reducing pressure on natural resources.

The TGB Annual Report 2016 covers the progress of implementation of activities for the project year January to December 2016.
Workplace Health Initiative
HIV Testing and Counseling at the Mubako Community in the Murchison Falls Conservation Area.

The USAID/Uganda HIV/AIDS and health Initiatives in the Workplaces Activity (HIWA) is a 5 year programme funded by USAID. The program is a national program implemented in 33 districts by World Vision Inc in partnership with RTI International (RTI), Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG), The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) and The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG) with the overall goal to improve the health of;
  1. The members of the UPF,
  2.  Private security guards (PSG)
  3. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) staff
  4. Staff in selected hotels affiliated with the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA).
ECOTRUST is continuing to implement this programme in 3 conservation areas of Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Mt. Elgon with key focus on the employees of Uganda Wildlife Authority. The outreach focused on following up UWA staff that had been trained during the first year to ensure continuity of the initiatives. 

The planned strategy for the second year of the Programme is to work with the three health centers of Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Mbale Police clinic (for Mt Elgon Conservation Area) to provide HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) services at outreaches. USAID/HIWA is targeting to reach 1,600 men and women in the conservation areas with HIV Testing Services (HTS) while linking the positives to care and treatment. 

ECOTRUST conducted follow ups with the UWA clinics to ensure that they continue to provide HTS at the various workplaces. A total of 70 people were counseled and tested. Behavioral Change communication (BCC) continues to be the main strategy used for HIV prevention. The Condom education conducted in the conservation areas during year one have continued to generate interest in this service. The project managed to distribute 127,000 condoms to the respective areas.  
Mayi Sitovu receives CDM and Gold Standard Accreditation
The Mayi Sitovu Energy Efficient Cook stove

ECOTRUST this year achieved CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) and Gold Standard accreditation under the Improved Cook Stoves for East Africa (ICSEA) Programme of Activities (PoA) which recently added a new methodology to allow the organization to 
earn more carbon credits for its beneficiaries by shifting from a dependence on non-renewable biomass fuel to the use of renewable biomass 
as their primary source of fuel . This will enable tree growing farmers (who are the primary target beneficiaries) access the Mayi Sitovu - energy efficient stoves at a subsidized price. A percentage of the money generated from the sale of these carbon credits will go into a Community fund for development purposes.
Distribution of the Mayi Sitovu's is under way and already there is much enthusiasm about the stoves. ECOTRUST will actively market, distribute, track and maintain these Improved Cook Stoves (ICS). The distribution target for 2017 is 5,000 cook stoves.  O verall, the use of these Improved Cook Stoves in households will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy sources.

Community Visioning for a Green Future 
A community visioning training in Masindi conducted through Focus Group discussions

ECOTRUST has embarked on a community visioning exercise targeting all communities within ECOTRUST landscapes. This visioning exercise will enable communities develop concrete strategies on how to archive what they want as a community. It will involve adoption of sustainable land use practices as well as green and inclusive plans. 

The exercise will also enable communities provide input to district development plans, budgets, bye-laws and ordinances.

ECOTRUST partners with Ankole Diocese
ECOTRUST gathers with Ankole Diocese members at the Diocese church in Rushere town, Kiruhura district.
ECOTRUST formed a partnership with the Ankole Diocese on the 23rd of March, 2017. Through this partnership, communities within Kiruhura district will receive training in sustainable land management, tree growing and renewable energy. ECOTRUST will also set up a demonstration plot for tree growing at the Diocese comprising of indigenous tree species such as Mahogany, Prunus Africana, Grevillia etc..
World Wildlife Day Celebrations 2017
Ambassador Kristian Schmidt of the European Union (extreme left), First Deputy Prime Ministry - General Moses Ali State Minister for Tourism - Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda and Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities - Dr. Ephraim Kamuntu show their curiosity about Solvatten at the national WWD celebrations

ECOTRUST participated in the National World Wildlife Day Celebrations held on 3rd March at the Uganda Museum under the theme 'Listen to the young voices - Mainstreaming the Youth in Conservation'.  The day presented an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild  Fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation p rovides.
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA), Uganda Wildlife Education  Centre and other Stakeholders (ECOTRUST inclusive) planned a series of activities to  celebrate the day including a Marathon and School Competitions.

International Day of Forests 2017
A pupil of Yogemu Primary school in Kasangati planting a mango tree seedling as part of the International Day of Forests Celebrations 

Primary School Tree Planting Drive 

In partnership with a local CBO,  Let Nature Restore Nature ECOTRUST celebrated the International Day of Forests on 21 st March by participating in a tree planting drive in schools around Wakiso District. Pupils were sensitized on the vital importance of trees in sustaining life and actively participated in a tree planting exercise which saw a total of 36 fruit tree seedlings comprising of oranges, mangoes and avocados planted in four Primary schools. In order to ensure survival of the trees, pupils were taught how to care for the seedlings;
watering them, putting up ring fences, pruning, dealing with pests etc. Each pupil pledged to take proper care of their seedlings until the time they graduate.

National Celebrations at Bugema University

Minister of Water and Environment - Hon Sam Cheptoris at Ecotrust stall during the World Forest day celebrations at Bugema University

ECOTRUST hosts Flora & Fauna International

ECOTRUST together with the Ongo Community members host Flora & 
Fauna International (FFI) Communities

ECOTRUST together with the Ongo Community members hosted Flora & Fauna International (FFI) Communities from Mpigi & Rakai districts in celebration of International day of forests. Ongo Communal Land Association recently acquired tenure for the Ongo Community Forest, making it the first communally owned forest in the country. It is also the pilot site for REDD+ in Uganda. REDD+ aims at compensating developing countries for reducing carbon emissions, conserving and sustain-ably managing their forests.
Green Business Modeling & Private Sector Green Financing

The ECOTRUST Executive Director together with the M&E & Research Coordinator participated in a the Green Finance Academy masterclass on "Green Business Modelling and Private Sector Finance" at Nyenrode University in The Netherlands, 6-10 March 2017. This initiative from IUCN NL provided training on how to transform current projects into bankable projects. 
ECOTRUST participates in the 10th Pan - African ABS Workshop - Senegal
10th Pan-African ABS Workshop - Senegal

Over the past 10 years, The Access and Benefit Sharing Capacity Development Initiative (ABS) has become a key player in supporting the implementation of one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources - the equity dimension of the Convention.

The training that took place from the 6th - 10th of March, 2017 aimed at providing an opportunity for learning, discussion and sharing experiences for National ABS Focal Points, representatives of indigenous peoples, local communities, and research institutions as well as the private sector from all African countries. 

ECOTRUST shared her experiences in e ngaging with the private sector (sandalwood harvesting in Moroto district). Discussions were also held on the legal and institutional framework development for ABS and the need to link rural farmers growing Prunus Africana to the international market.
Through its multi-stakeholder approach, the Initiative is helping to make ABS a tangible reality on the ground by providing direct support to many countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and by building bridges between governments, indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders, such as the scientific and business communities.

Solvatten Sunshine Story

Meet Resty, a business woman living in a Kampala suburb. She has been using Solvatten for over six months and was glad to share with us her sunshine story.  #Solvatten  #Sunshinestories