Building civic competences to increase transparency and accountability in the forest sector:
CARE international in Uganda is currently implementing programme called Forest Resources Sector Transparency to increase transparency, accountability and responsiveness in forest governance for the benefit of poor Uganda citizens. The programme builds upon work done an earlier project called combating illegal trade in charcoal and timber through stakeholder collaboration. The principles of the 2 projects have been setup on increasing community participation in monitoring and reporting forest illegalities, accessing benefits from the central forest reserves of Matiri and Itwara, and increasing capacity for communities to demand for transparency and accountability from forest estate managers (National Forestry Authority and District Forest Services). The projects tested 2 models: the use of a multi-stakeholder forum on forests and use of the mobile telephone as a tool to combat illegal harvesting of, and trade in timber and charcoal. The mobile telephone use is used by communities through a system called community based monitoring. The lessons learnt from the 2 projects show that stakeholders can build capacity of communities to fight wildlife and forest crimes as well as improve forest governance.