Participatory land use planning in Uganda
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The Ugandan government’s National Oil Palm Project (NOPP) aim is to improve rural development in and around Lake Victoria through oil palm production, and to contribute to poverty reduction. This began in Kalangala district in 2002, and oil palm now dominates much of the landscape on that island. It is now being expanded to Buvuma where land has been acquired for new plantations, and several mainland districts where this process is just beginning. However, much research has shown that oil palm development has also led to many negative social and environment impacts.1 And with large areas assigned for oil palm, this will obviously reduce the availability of land for farmers to grow other crops, increase pressures on the environment, and leave local communities with hard choices about how to meet their needs from what land remains. In response, alternative land use plans were developed by community members in areas with oil palm expansion, using fully participatory processes and inclusive decision making.