The Nile Basin Reforestation Project is a deal between the Ugandan Government represented by the National Forest Authority and the World Bank BioCarbon Fund, detailing improved conservation management practices in the Rwoho Central Forest Reserve gazetted woodland, including the reforestation of degraded grasslands to create 341.9 ha of timber plantations (pine and mixed native species) and sequester 29,795 t CO2-e. The project became the first African forestry project to be registered under the CDM in August 2009.
A central dynamic of CDM projects that this project exposes is the relationship between financial capital and local institutions and the scalar and spatial re-arrangements (or misalignments) that arise in attempts to commodify carbon and the resultant power relationships. Since the project protected area was established, grazing (which used to take place on the approximately 50 percent of deforested land now used for tree planting) has been criminalised, but by its own admission, the NFAs efforts to police the plantations have not worked and have given rise to conflicts with communities that have protested against their denial of access to forest resources by local communities, insensitive management styles, failure to deal with vermin and problem animals, and a lack of opportunity for communities to voice their concerns.
This precipitated the NFA decision to enter into collaborative forest management (CFM) both to quell dissent and to protect the plantations developed by private investors . A report also questions the sincerity of the community participation, concerning rights to grazing, the overstating of potential economic benefits to communities and failing to accommodate community concerns. While expected to establish at least 20 per cent of the area (or about 400 hectares), only 70 of the 250 members (28 per cent) of the Rwoho Environmental Conservation and Protection Association (RECPA) have joined the project. There have been some limited employment benefits but there have been complaints that the contractors employing community members receive about 60 per cent of the payments, and there are allegations of corruption and conflicts of interest in regarding how local contracts for plantation work are awarded to outsiders (although these claim have not been verified by the research).
"The NFA has an agreement with community groups to pay them for the carbon for trees grown on National Forest Reserve land that they manage through a collaborative Forest Management agreement. This will amount to about 15% of the total carbon income, though this is dependent on the trees being maintained on the land. The issues that arise in these benefit sharing arrangements are that carbon benefits only go to a limited number of community members involved in the community association, so access depends on meeting criteria to join the association, and there is little understanding about the scale of benefits among the community association, which could result in risks for them and the NFA as the project progresses." (see attached file, UNREDD)