Save Mabira forest in Uganda

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The move by the Ugandan government to sell over 7,000 hectares of Mabira Forest to an Indian owned sugar company was met with a stiff resistance from the society who saw it as enclosure of the common property. several Ugandans turned to the street to show their anger to the government decision which resulted in the death of three protesters who wanted to preserve a 1937 legacy that has been passed on to them by their ancestors, who also want to either sustain or improve its quality for the future generation than to sell it to a foreign company lost their lives.
The government considered the economic growth to be paramount to the quality of life of its citizens, as result the question is What criteria are considered to guide development policies by government? Should economic growth alienate the preservation of the common property? Or should GDP per capita be paramount to the welfare and the wellbeing of citizens? This question exposes the trade-offs between quality of life and economic growth.
The issue is should development be seen as economic in terms of expansion of annual growth of per capita income to the deprivation of the growth of people’s quality of life. Whilst economic growth is pertinent component to development, sustainable economic growth is believed to be deeply associated with the growth in health, education and social life. Studies have proven that there is no automatic connection between high GDP per capita and the ability of the people to flourish. The table below illustrates the link between GDP and some element of human development like political freedom, health and education.
Human development indicators
Saudi Arabia Uruguay Russia Costa Rica Vietnam Morocco
GDP per capita (PPPUS$) 15,711 9,962 10,845 9,481 3,071 4,555
Adult literacy rate (%) 82.9 96.8 99.4 94.9 90.3 52.3
Female literacy rate (%) 76.3 97.3 99.2 95.1 86.9 39.6
Life expectancy (years) 72.2 75.9 65 78.5 73.7 70.4
Under 5 mortality (0/00) 26 15 18 12 19 40
Political right civil liberties 7/6 1/1 6/5 1/1 7/5 5/4
Human Development Index 0.812 0.852 0.802 0.846 0.733 0.646
http://www.freedomhouse.org
The above table reiterate how high DDP per capita does not automatically support human development. Saudi Arabia in the above table has the highest GDP yet Vietnam which has the least GDP has piped Saudi Arabia in the following: literacy and life expectancy In view of this it will be pragmatic for the Ugandan government to consider the plight of its people before any move to relieve the land has been reach. Since economic prosperity does not always reflect on the wellbeing of the society. http://foei.org/en/get-involved/take-action/keep-the-mabira-forest-in-uganda The common property can only be preserved or be improved than to destroy or reduce its quality.

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2 Responses to “Save Mabira forest in Uganda”

  1. ngoziokei Says:

    Yes commons property can only be preserved or be improved, than to destroy or reduce its quality. What the Uganda government did, by selling the7,000 hectares of Mabira Forest to an Indian owned sugar company, is definitely not a good way to sustain the commons property. First of all, there is no agreement between the Uganda government and the commons to sell that 7,000 hectares of Mabira Forest. No way should economy growth alienate the preservation of the commons property OR GDP capita be paramount to the welfare/wellbeing of the citizens. According to “The EEA financial Mechanism & The Norwegian financial Mechanism”, “There should be sustained development approach which should be used in guiding the development policies of commons property. This decribes an approach to planning and decision-making that aims at achieving a real and lasting reduction of social/economc inequality, as well as protecting the environment”. http://www.eeagrants.org/asset/341/1
    It is used to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs, while protecting the Earth’s capacity to meet life in all lts diversity. In guiding the commons property, it must be on a democratic, rule of law and respect for fundamental rights, which must have freedom, equal opportunities and cultural diversity. These guidlines should promotes employment, increase the strength of the education, social territorial cohesion and the protection of human health/environment. There are three points, which should be concentrated as guidlines for a sustainable development:
    The environment deals with the basis to sustain the commons property.
    The economy deals with the tool to achieve that sustained property.
    A good life for all, which is the target to follow/carry out the important values of life.

  2. theoamuah Says:

    thanks for the comment and also having equal stand with me on this issue. I think its about time the policy makers consider the plight of the commoners when it comes to sustainable development than vying for economic development which only benefit the few.

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