Making Public Procurement Work for Sustainable Forest Use: Excluding Illegal Timber from Uganda's Market
Uganda is suffering the loss of its forest cover at alarming rates. This is partly attributed to illegal harvest of forest products including timber. It is reported that 80% of the timber on the Uganda Market is illegally harvested and traded. This phenomenon causes loss of revenue to government, exacerbates global warming and undermines sustainable forest management. This paper explores the opportunities for exclusion of illegal timber from the market. This research paper advances a two stage approach Uganda should adopt if it is to manage its forests for the benefit of its present and future generations. First, public procurement laws and systems must outrightly prohibit illegal timber. Secondly there must be a gradual development of a procurement system that encourages purchase of timber from sustainably managed forests, especially as timber demand and supply increase. The main objective of this research paper was to explore these opportunities and recommend reforms essential for their realization.