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Ugandan sweet tooth threatens rain forest

Source:  Copyright 2011, Agence France-Presse
Date:  September 20, 2011
Byline:  Max Delany
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Standing beneath the towering trees of Uganda's threatened Mabira rainforest, farmer Godfrey Ojambo shrugs in despair and bewilderment at plans to cut down this national treasure and hand it over to a sugar corporation.

From feed for his cows and firewood for his cooking to the rainfall for his crops, Ojambo says he is just one of thousands of people living around the tropical forest who depend on it for their livelihood.

"Here the forest is life," said Ojambo, who is also vice-chairman of a local group helping to manage part of the forest.

"We don't know how we could live without it, but they still want to give it away," he added sadly, waving at the majestic trees.

All around, the dense undergrowth hums with the sound of insects and birds.

The forest is home to a vast array of rare plants and animal species with almost 200 kinds of butterflies alone and over 250 birds.

But despite helping rescue the forest from ...

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