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TREETOPS: Climate Resilience of Restored Forest Landscapes



Project Team

Prof Ros Cornforth, Dr. Celia Petty and Dr. Harley Pope (Walker Institute), Dr. Sarah Akello Esimu and Dr. Bernard Obaa (Makerere University), Pauline Nantongo and Jonah Butsata (EcoTrust), James Acidri (Evidence for Development), Moses Tumusiime (UNMA)


Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), ECOTRUST (, Makerere University


October 2021 - April 2022



Key Contact

Prof Ros Cornforth, Dr. Celia Petty


Forest Landscape Restoration, Uganda, Livelihoods, Climate change impacts




This Seedcorn project will establish collaboration between researchers from Uganda and the UK with expertise in climate change impacts, Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR)/ Nature based Solutions (NbS)and livelihoods analysis. The Forest Landscape Restoration approach underpins international commitments to restore degraded landscapes, including the Bonn Challenge to restore 350 million hectares of forest worldwide by 2030. The overarching aim of FLR is to deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation, combined with biodiversity benefits and enhancement of local livelihoods. The FLR framework incorporates a range of different restoration activities ranging from plantations for managed harvesting, to agro-forestry, natural forest regeneration and a mix of forest with agricultural or pastoral lands. The sensitivity and resilience of these different FLR activities to future climate impacts will vary and have profound implications for the resilience of local livelihoods.

Our research

This project will take an interdisciplinary approach to assess the resilience  to climatic impacts of  different types of FLR undertaken at Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (EcoTrust) sites in Masindi district. The key elements of the research include active engagement with FLR/NbS stakeholders at every level, from government to community;  identification of local research needs; assessment of local livelihood sensitivities to climate change; and a synthesis of historical data on rainfall and ecology in Masindi district. The collection and analysis of data from these FLR sites will form the basis for future collaborative research working with local forest restoration stakeholders to improve resilience of both the landscape and the livelihoods that depend on it.

Our impact

The research activities deliver against the aims of the Seedcorn Fund by developing a new international collaboration with leading researchers in tropical forest landscape restoration (Dr Bernard Obaa & Dr Sarah Akello of Makerere University) and implementing partners on the ground (Pauline Nantongo, EcoTrust, livelihoods expert, James Acidri) as well as climate and livelihoods data synthesis (Prof Rosalind Cornforth, Dr Celia Petty & Dr. Luisa Ciampi of the Walker Institute, Moses Tumusiime of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority). The specific intellectual expertise of each of our partners will create a strong multi-disciplinary team, working at the cutting edge of climate, nature based solutions and sustainable livelihoods research. The Walker Institute contributes climate and livelihoods data synthesis, knowledge exchange and policy engagement. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Makerere University, Uganda contributes technical forestry, forest restoration and ecological monitoring expertise. EcoTrust contributes expertise in financial flows, community engagement and participatory approaches to forest landscape restoration, as well as ecological monitoring. The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) will lend their expertise in weather and climate data monitoring, through Rainwatch-Uganda.

To ensure the long term sustainability of this approach, partners will take part in knowledge synthesis training provided by the Walker Academy, introducing each partner to key concepts and techniques used in climate-livelihoods impact measurement.

This new team will provide a basis for long-term collaboration to assess resilience of restoration projects, through the establishment of long-term monitoring at field sites in Uganda where further multi-disciplinary research into climatic changes, ecological and livelihoods resilience can be conducted.