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This project will directly benefit 600 women and girls while increasing climate resilience and promoting gender equality and leadership in Western Uganda.


The International Tree Foundation (ITF) and Alpha Women Empowerment Initiative (AWEI)

Kasese, Uganda

Based in the Kasese region of Uganda, this project is centred around promoting inclusive and equitable relationships between women and men and girls and boys as an integral aspect of landscape restoration. In Kasese, 80% of the households depend on agriculture, particularly coffee, with most often women working in harsh climactic conditions on damaged lands at risk of landslides. Initially, the project will work with 500 women and 100 girls from four regional villages to plant 20,000 trees and 10,000 bamboo plants. The project focuses on understanding and responding to the priorities and needs of women and empowering them as leaders in natural resource management through agroforestry. The project is a powerful example of locally-led reforestation with women’s empowerment at its core. It is an exciting co-creative endeavour among its three partners, piloting a community-led approach to project design, management and monitoring.




Hectares of forest planted to date

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Female fieldwork team (100% indigenous)



Trees to plant per year


Gender inequality, exploitation, economic inequality and a prevalence of domestic violence have undermined women’s sense of self-determination in the area. There is unequal sharing of benefits from the sale of coffee between women, young people and men. Due to unequal financial access, women and girls lack basic necessities like sanitary products. Cultural and social inequality leads to early marriages for girls (12 to 18) and boys (15 to 25). The high school drop-out rates have also contributed to illiteracy rates in the area. The project will train women and girls in leadership development to support them in assuming responsibilities and decision-making positions. Twenty gender champions will also be trained, who will then be able to reach out to local community groups to promote gender equity across the region. Furthermore, the project will support sustainable livelihood options for women farmers through training and start-up assistance in the form of seeds, equipment or manure and by reactivating a reusable sanitary pad enterprise set up by AWEI to create opportunities for income generation and vocational training for young girls.

“Women will be able to gain more skills. For example, when we’re in the field with some of the farmers, men are supposed to be the ones to plant trees. But nowadays, we are training the women to know how to plant them. If someone is a widow, you can train them and learn how to plant trees, not necessarily that men are supposed to be the ones to plant trees.”

Kamalha Annet - Extension Officer - Alpha Women Empowerment Initiative


Poor farming methods, massive deforestation, soil erosion, and sedimentation have left this area over-exploited and with limited natural resources. The steep terrain is ecologically fragile and vulnerable to natural disasters such as flooding, drought and landslides, which have led to several deaths over the years. Through community-led agroforestry, 20,000 trees and 10,000 bamboo plants will initially be planted in the area. The project will focus 95% on re-greening farmlands through agroforestry, integrating shade, fodder, native, and high-value fruit trees, such as Hass avocados and grafted mangoes, into sustainable land management practices. The remaining 5% will be riparian and land protection through bamboo cultivation. The project will use a holistic approach to environmental restoration, enabling communities to develop sustainable and productive landscapes. The planted trees will take direct climate action, increase soil fertility, reduce erosion and landslides, as well as provide food and fuel, and generate income for the local communities.


The project promotes inclusive and equitable relationships between women and men, boys and girls and landscape restoration. The project seeks to understand and respond to the priorities and needs of women, as well as empower them as leaders in natural resource management under an agroforestry scheme. Through Phase 1 of this project, community members will benefit from increased soil fertility, reduced soil erosion and direct income, as well as the opportunity to shape the project's next phase.
The innovative gender aspects of this project include training couples on joint planning, budgeting, implementation and benefits sharing in agroforestry initiatives, as well as aiming to reform operating procedures for local conservation and development committees to be more gender equitable. Due to its combined approach of supporting livelihoods, wellbeing, gender equity and environmental needs, this project is vital to the local communities it serves.

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