Climate change

Mitigating climate change: Estonian firm seeks idle land in the North to plant bamboo trees

(Last Updated On: 9 August 2023)

Gulu I One Million Tonne Nation [1MTN], an Estonian company says it is seeking to mitigate the impacts of climate change by developing high-quality nature-based carbon-dioxide removal projects.

To achieve this, 1MTN added it has embarked on a journey to plant bamboo trees to restore over one million hectares of degraded land in Uganda and entire Africa by 2030 through planting native or naturalized bamboo species as linked to conserving the environment.

This project started in April 2023 and is expected to remove at least 1 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, focusing to mitigate climate change, and ensuring strong social impact in the regions where operations are carried out.

Almost 65% of productive land in Africa has suffered from degradation caused both by climate change and irresponsible deforestation. In 2019, according to World Bank, the rate of forest cover loss in Uganda was 2.6 per cent which is driven in part by the demand for energy.         

Garoza Anete is the co-founder and chief climate officer who said they are looking for leasehold and freehold lands to qualify for the project, adding that the land must be titled and registered with the Uganda Land Registry.

“The land has to be deforested for at least the past 10 years and have digitized coordinates. Landowners must have legal rights to use the land for the next 30 years or more, larger than 250 hectares,” Garoza noted.

Garoza further urged that bamboo trees are a versatile and sustainable resource that offers a wide range of benefits, both for the environment, climatic mitigation and human use.

“Planting bamboo trees on idle, degraded land would help to restore the environment to revive the ecosystem, providing a natural habitat for wildlife and improving quality life in the area, as well as restoring ecological balance and conserving biodiversity.

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He also disclosed that this will help in soil conservation by reducing soil erosion, retaining moisture, and providing shade, which benefits other crops grown in the same area and is particularly beneficial in areas prone to landslides and soil degradation.

“With the current demand for wood fuel forcing locals to cut down trees, bamboo is an effective way to combat deforestation since it grows fast, with some species growing up to 1 meter per day. Unlike traditional tree-based timber, bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that can be harvested within 3-5 years, making it a more sustainable option,” Garoza told TND News.

Kristjan Raude is the CEO and co-founder of 1MTN. He said that the project seeks to build a bio-economy which will create hundreds of jobs in Northern Uganda through partnering and supporting landowners to plant polyculture native bamboo to restore degraded land, as bidding to remove carbon dioxide pollution from the atmosphere.

He, however, highlighted that the main goal of the project is to support local communities and farmers within Northern Uganda who are close to project boundaries to become self-sustainable to serve the environment again during drought.

“We are a company with a strong social impact, focused not only on restoring nature but also on supporting local communities and mitigating climate change,” Kristjan Raude said.

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