Displaced Communities, Environmental Change and Sustainable Livelihoods in Uganda

Lorraine van Blerk, Mark Cutler, Lee Hewitson, Janine Hunter, Yazidhi Bamutaze, Ingrid Martha Kintu, Badru Bukenya, Jacqueline Kibirige Nakaiza

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    Uganda is one of the four top refugee-hosting countries in the world and the largest in Africa, a product of the surrounding geopolitical context and Uganda’s progressive refugee laws and policy. Refugees in Uganda are afforded freedom of movement, the right to work, the provision of social services, and are allocated land for residential and agricultural use in settlements. High dependence on natural resources to meet needs for shelter, food, fuel and income generation has caused environmental change and degradation in and around refugee settlements. Increasing demand for fuelwood and timber amongst growing populations puts strain on forest resources, threatening biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services critical to livelihoods. Yet these dynamics differ depending on socio-cultural, political-economic and ecological factors specific to local settlement contexts. This report generates a nuanced view of environment–livelihood interactions, informing recommendations for protracted refugee contexts. The research aims to: ‘Explore how displacement impacts on environmental change and the subsequent development of sustainable livelihoods’ through the following objectives:

    • Examine the nature and extent of environmental change in different settlements using satellite remote sensing and field-based observations.

    • Understand the various ways in which refugees and host communities, living in or around new and long-term refugee settlements, interact with the environment and ecosystem services.

    • Explore the variety of knowledges and values of refugee and host households for understanding how the environment is used.

    • Offer recommendations for the management of increasing pressure on land resources within sustainable livelihood practices for development and policy programming.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDundee
    PublisherUniversity of Dundee
    Number of pages40
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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