Monitoring done by global-woods AG,

Kikonda Forest Reserve

 

1) Social:

Up to date global-woods AG has conducted 4 major surveys of the living conditions of people in an area of 5 km around the Kikonda Forest Reserve to find out the impact of global-woods AG’ activities on the communities. The key methods used are questionnaires, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The studies were conducted by University of Rottenburg, EACL consultants (2010) Heifer international (2010) and a freelance consultant (2011). A recent survey was conducted by the Sustainability department of global-woods AG (2015 and 2017 respectively). In addition meetings with community members and local authorities are conducted on a continuous basis, their results and follow-up activities being documented. Grievances raised during the studies were dealt with using standard procedures.

The major outcome from the surveys is that global-woods AG’ activities have a positive impact in terms of employment and increase of trade volume in the communities. Between October 2012 and December 2016, global-woods AG directly created 619 additional jobs exclusively for the young men and women from the neighbouring communities. Further, the direct community support given by global-woods AG continues to be appreciated by the neighbours as positive impact. It included:

  1. provision of over 500000 tree seedlings to communities, schools and religious institutions,
  2. support to 24 public schools with examination papers twice a term,
  3. providing medical services and free immunisation and HIV counselling and testing to the neighbours,
  4. training over 1500 people in financial literacy,
  5. providing environmental education to over 9000 people in the neighbourhood,
  6. training and supporting over 1400 neighbours in livelihood improvement under various agricultural value chains,
  7. construction of 21 boreholes, 15 valley dams and 18 rainwater harvesting tanks

 

A feedback and grievance redress mechanism is in place and a total of 219 grievances have been processed and closed while 305 concerns and requests have been registered, of which 299 have been responded to.

Issues still to be improved are encroachment and the implementation of a well-structured Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) framework.

In future, monitoring of the development of livelihood levels of communities will continue to be monitored through surveys and direct interaction.

 

 

  1. Safety, Health and Environment

Injury occurrence is monitored regularly in accordance with the company safety and health procedures. Lost time injuries are those that disable workers from continuing to perform their normal duties on the next shift.

Lost time incidence frequency rate (LTIFR)) is then calculated for the month by using the following formula:  

LTIFR = No of Lost time Incidences x 200000 

               No of hours worked in that period.

Results indicate that the Lost Time Incidence frequency rate (LTIFR) usually is higher in the months of November to January than during the rest of the year. This is mainly from the many manual operations like slashing and firefighting, which characterize these months.  However, measures are in place to keep these cases below the International standard.

The averages RIFR values for 2015, 2016, and 2017 were 6.3, 4.1, and 4.3 respectively.

With effect from 2017, LTIFR were used as our measure of compliance. LTIFR values for 2017,  2018 and 2019 were 4.12, 1.83 and 1.77 respectively.

global woods endeavors to keep these incidences as low as 0.5 in the coming year, through effective specific job trainings before and during work, provision of effective Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers and timely First aid treatment to those who may get injured infield.

  1.  Ecological:
    1. Plants, mammals and birds monitoring

Plants and animals living in the areas planted by global-woods AG as well as in the conservation areas within the Forest Reserve have been assessed by EACL consultants (2010), Dr. James Kalema of Makerere University (2011), Dr. Aventino Kasangaki (2013 and 2014) and Dr Sunday Eric of Makerere University (2015) and Dr Dianah (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) in conjunction with company staff. Methods such as the point counts and line transect are used to asses birds along 5 transects of 2km laid across the different vegetation of the reserve. One transect is located outside the forest reserve for comparison purposes. Along the same transects, mammals are assessed using the sweeping method. Plants are assessed using nested quadrants of 20 by 20m spaced out at intervals of 200m along the transects. Samples of shrubs, liana, herbs and trees were identified in field and Makerere University herbarium

Results by 2019 indicate that the total species list for birds stands at 285 and the species list for mammals stands at 30. Of the 267 birds’ species, 20 of these birds in the category of rare threatened and endangered species were found. Such birds include:

  1. brown snake eagle,
  2. grey parot,
  3. martial eagle,
  4. montagu harrier,
  5. papyrus gonolek,
  6. toro olive greenbul,
  7. wooly stoked nake and

Bateleur which is a globally near-threatened bird specie were found. In addition, a new species of global concern to the FR Bird list; the Grey-Crowned Crane, Uganda’s National Bird was found. Three mammals including two globally vulnerable that is the African Golden Cat and the Leopard were found. One Mammal in the category of lower risk/near threatened – the sitatunga was found.  

In terms of plants, no plants of high value conservation concern were found.

The monitoring results of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 show an increasing trend in species richness of birds. Indicator species for plants, avian fauna and mammals have been designated and a biodiversity monitoring protocol is in place. Mammals and birds are monitored bi-annually while plants are monitored every three years. Below is a summary of results for birds, mammals and plants.

 

 

The general reduction in the number of trees can be explained by the fact that the habitats are becoming mature and the dominant tree species seem to be dominating the inferior ones, which eventually die out due to lack of competitive powers over the superior species which remain. This uses the same theory of how the secondary forest becomes a primary forest with fewer but mature tree species.

  1. Invasive plant species monitoring results

Monitoring of invasive species (namely, bug-weed, lantana, and acacia spp.) is conducted annually. Results of monitoring conducted in 2019 show that the current infestation levels are low. There was a decline in the levels of infestation: i.e from 8% in 2018 to 6.6% in 2019.

  1. Water quality monitoring

Quality of water is tested every year. Water samples are collected from various sources and delivered to a reputable laboratory (Chemiphar laboratory). The main objective is to find out whether the operations of the company have an impact on water quality and whether the water used for human consumption is potable.

Results of the test conducted in 2014 led to introduction of chlorination cartridges in the water supply system at the forest station to further clean the water before consumption. The water quality tests overtime have indicated that water is safe for human consumption. However, some tests done in 2018 indicated contamination of some water sources. Better water treatment methods such as use of Chlorine dispensers placed at the point of water leaving the water pumps, and a water filter for removing debris have been installed. At the same time, installed Tripple UV Filters at the kitchen and guest house, and a purifier at the dining hall. Cleaning of containers and drums before putting water is ensured.

The communities, whose water samples  were found not safe from pathogens were sensitised to boil water before consumption as recommended by the laboratory.

  1. Waste disposal sites

A central waste management site located within the FMU where all waste generated within the FMU is deposited with the exception of medical waste, is regularly checked in accordance with company procedures. The objective is to ensure that all waste resulting from the operations of the forest management Unit must be properly handled to avoid spillover effects to the safety, health and our environment. The waste management site has been ranked among the best ever seen in the forestry sector and other related businesses.

In 2019, a total of 3360 kilograms of waste was collected at the central waste disposal site. Of these 696 kilograms was non bio-degradable while 4460 kilograms was biodegradable.

 

 

 

  1. Pests and Diseases:

Damage to the trees by pest or disease is visually monitored and recorded on a “Pest and Disease Monitoring” form. This consists of both in the plantation and in the nursery. Occasionally pest and disease experts are invited to the plantation to help in the identification of the pests and diseases and also offer solutions to the problem. The pests that have had occurrences in the plantation are termites, and some caterpillars. For moths that have not yet been identified, there have also been Red gum lerp psyllid, squirrels, leptocybe invasa and bronze bug, in 2018, Aphids were also confirmed to be present in the plantation by experts from National Forestry Research Institute and together with them, a bioagent (Psyllaephagus bliteus) was introduced  for the Red gum lerp which had already been introduced earlier in the eastern part of Uganda and it was just transferred to Kyankwanzi.

 

  1. Soils:

Nearly the entire area of the Forest Reserve could be used for tree planting. Only few areas have shallow or wet soils to an extent that would not allow trees to be planted. Four different site classes are found within the boundaries of the KFR according to the soil map of Radwanski (1960), these are Ferralsols, Alisols, Plinthosols and Gleysols. This was established during an initial survey of the soils was done by a German student, Matthias Baur, as part of his thesis for Larenstein University in 2007. This covered soil classification and site assessment for the suitability of Pinus Caribaea and other species at the Kikonda Forest Reserve, as well as the susceptibility to degradation.

  1. Weather monitoring

Historical data has always been the best way to predict weather trends; as such, daily observations of the weather conditions are continuously monitored at Kikonda Forest Reserve. Results indicate that more 1200 mm of rain was received in 2019.  This was normal in comparison to the long-term means. Being the normal phenomenon in Uganda, two rainy peak seasons were noted i.e. March-May and September – November).

  1. Economic:
    1. Summary of monitoring of growth rates, regeneration rates and survival counts.

The growth of trees which forms the basis of the future economic performance of the company is measured annually using a system of app. 200 permanent sample plots. Result show that growth is in the range typical for the country. The mean annual increment for pine is 15-25m3 and the mean annual increment for eucalyptus is 20-30m3.

During plantation establishment phase, tree survival is monitored monthly. Results indicate that there is a good seedling performance in the field for both eucalyptus and pine species (more than 80 percent after the first year of establishment.

  1. Yield of forest products harvested.

Records on forest products harvested (i.e. timber), show that yields are normally compared with the projected harvest yields. These comparisons show that the harvested volumes are within the acceptable thresholds set i.e.  + or minus 10 percent of the volume yield projected.

  1. Post harvest monitoring

Post harvest assessments done after harvesting operation indicate that there is no damage to conservation areas during execution of harvesting operations. Residual treetops and branches were left infield as means of stabilizing the ground over against any erosion danger.

 

  1. Costs, productivity and efficiency analysis; results of analyses are incorporated into plans

 

Work studies conducted on operations, have been incorporated in setting reasonable work targets for all the operations up to date. The budget is prepared, present and actual costs vs planned are always drawn and monitored to ensure that it runs in line.

 

  1. Formal records of Contractor compliance monitoring

Contractor compliance is done through routine field assessment during the operations to ensure that the set legal, administrative, and work standards are followed. Where shortfalls are discovered, internal correct actions are always raised and closed timely. Results indicate that there are no outstanding non compliances out of the 53 total corrective action requests raised in 2019.

 

  1. Fire Preparedness:

Fires are regularly monitored and a fire team is always at standby during the dry seasons within the year. The causes have mostly been by arson in the plantation and the conservation areas. A few fires were as a result of fire escapes from neighboring farmers. Management uses these results to improve the prevention methods. The FDI rating during the dry season reaches 60.

 

  1. Monitoring of illegal activities.

 

A team of forest guards have been employed to monitor the FMU for illegal activities. A daily Patrol Report” is completed, which is summarized into a monthly report from which quarterly reports are generated and submitted to National Forestry Authority (NFA). In 2019 there was minimal destruction registered on the plantation save for a few compartments which were negatively affected by cattle.  Cattle encroachment was highest in during the months of January, May and July 2019. These were dealt with through sensitizations. Some cases of illegal logging were reported in the conservation areas.

 

Note: For more information, contact global-woods AG at kikondamail@global-woods.com.