Tooro Botanical Gardens Background
Tooro Botanical Garden(TBG) is an indigenous non-profit making organisation founded in 2001 as a centre of excellence in growing and maintaining living plant collections from the Albertine region for conservation, scientific research, education, horticultural and aesthetic purposes. It is based in Fort Portal city in western Uganda. The garden VISION is “A natural green environment for conservation, education, scientific research and recreation” and its MISSION STATEMENT “To promote community-centred Biodiversity Conservation and advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature.”
Since 2001, TBG has made good strides in the above fields. In this period TBG established her own 40 hectares Botanical Gardens in the center of Fort Portal city which is used as a practical demonstration and training center for the above areas of focus. some specific achievements are listed below:
Sustainable Biodiversity conservation
TBG conserves the highest species diversity per unit areas outside the national parks in Uganda. since 2004 TBG has been restoring and conserving a number of ecosystems notably; a 40-hectare communal former grazeland in the heart of Fort portal city which has been turned into a promising primary forest between 2004 to date with over 167 indigenous trees species up from 12 species, over 127 bird species, up from 23, over 380 non woody plants, insects, reptiles and few wild animals all playing a range of ecological functions. Additionally, TBG gas restored 4 wetlands, 4 river banks and 6 slopes of mountain Rwenzori.
Indigenous plant nurseries
TBG operates the largest and most species diverse indigenous plant nurseries in Uganda which has raised over 12 million of 123 tree species and over 3 million other indigenous plants. Currently, the nurseries have 285,218 tree seedlings of 98 species ready for planting. This nursery has supplied over 10,876,200 tree seedlings to communities and organizations such as; Ministry of Water and Environment, Government of Uganda, Wildlife conservation society (WCS), Protos, Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRC), Joint Effort To Save The Environment (JESE), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), National Forestry Authority (NFA), National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC), Fort Portal city, Tororo District Local Government, Katakwi District Local Government, Kabarole District Local Government among others.
Additionally, the garden operates 4 specialised nurseries that take care of different agro-ecological zones of Uganda namely:
- Western mid-altitude, located in Kagadi, Kagombe central forest reserve with 25,309 tree seedlings of 36 species
- Lake Victoria Crescent, located in Lwamunda central forest reserve in Mpigi district with 32,102 seedlings of 38 species
- South west rangeland, Ibanda local forest reserve with 64,153 seedlings of 48 species
- Afromontane landscape Mbale central forest reserve with 76,309 seedlings of 56 species
Since (2004) TBG has restored over 126 hectares of degraded ecosystems including the 40 hectares Fort portal central forest reserve, Kagombe central forest reserve in Kagadi, Namatale central forest reserve in Mbale, Kirimirire local forest reserve in Ibanda, Nyakigumba and Nyakinoni local forest reserves in Bunyangabu district, The banks of river Mpanga in Kabarole, Fort portal city and Kyenjojo district and Mpanga Gorge in Kamwenge District. Four slopes of Mountain Rwenzori plus four wetlands in kabarole District.
Biodiversity Education and Research
In 2012 TBG established a biodiversity practical training center in Fort portal city which host a number of biodiversity training every month. The trainees range from special interest groups such as Herbalists, Craft makers who use natural dyes and craft materials, ornithologists, ethnobotanists, ecologists to students on internships and researchers.
TBG upholds the following values as a guideline to its operation and conservation obligations.
- Transparency and accountability
- Trustworthiness and integrity
- Teamwork and partnership
- Social responsibility
- To increase adoption of enhanced Biodiversity conservation practices by communities and local authorities.
- To Collect, document and maintain Albertine rift flora
- To Provide recreation facilities to the public and expose them to different hands on biodiversity conservation aspects.
- To enhance effectiveness and efficiency of TBG to deliver on her mandate
A natural green environment for conservation, education, scientific research and recreation.
To promote community-centred conservation of ecological resources.