International Women’s Day 2014 FOREST HEROINE: Catharine Watson
By Joseph Otim
In 1990, Uganda’s natural forests and woodlands covered an estimated 4.9 million hectares (ha), representing 24 percent of total land area, according to the country’s National Forest Plan. By 2005, this area had been reduced to just over 3.6 million ha or 18 percent of the land area — a loss of 27 percent in just 15 years.
In the face of this worrying trend, Uganda got much-needed help from passionate people like Catharine Watson, head of program development at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), to help stem the tide of forest loss in the country.