This is a semi-arid area with a population of about 965,008 people of whom the majority subsists through (agro)pastoral livelihoods. Over the years, livelihood advances and innovations have been registered but there are still many development challenges to be addressed.
The degradation of this land is becoming a major concern yet its underlying processes are poorly understood. This lack of understanding has contributed to poorly-informed interventions and policies that have sometimes exacerbated environmental deterioration and loss of biodiversity.
Currently the Central Forest Reserves cover about 322,210 Hectares, about 11.6% of the total area of Karamoja. Another 1,490,440 Hectares are under wildlife conservation, about 40.8% of the total land area of Karamoja. Even the remaining potion is further affected by mining licenses.
A lot of grazing land has been affected by conversion to crop cultivation, over-exploitation of livestock, over-harvesting of woody biomass, as well as increased aridity due to both climate change and extraction of resources.
There is increased land degradation driven by population growth, overwhelming demand for food and other household needs, changes in attitudes and cultural norms, and by a range of policy-related and institutional factors.
Many of these issues can be addressed through more responsible governance of communally owned land and resources. The influencing capacity of various stakeholders needs to be strengthened using accurate data, information and knowledge. Everyone is key in driving needed reforms or social actions.