College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Volunteer for Organic Perspectives in Uganda

October 9, 2009

‘Organic Perspectives’ in Uganda would like to invite interested University students from any part of the world—such as those taking Research programs or internships—to help in building our team capacity for planning and getting partners to implement two scaled-up projects—forestry and the other for biogas—in one severely deforested remote part of Uganda called ‘Budiope’.

We are currently running a pilot agroforestry project in which we raise tree seedlings that are given out freely to local farmers across 11 villages (Buwanume parish) near Kamuli town. The project is supported by ‘Trees for the Future (USA)’ – http://www.plant-trees.org | Contact: Anthony Kalulu at organic.uganda@yahoo.com

The two projects are to be funded by carbon finance. However, the potential carbon investors we have had discussions with have indicated that we need to get much of the basic work on the ground before they can intervene. As a small group, we have constraints in areas that require technical expertise.

We would be happy to have the company of students who can add strength to our team in the following areas:

1) Putting together a Feasibility study. The biogas project, in particular, with its proposed 20,000 biogas units has captured the interest of several European carbon funds (such as Dexia and First Climate), but a technical feasibility study is one of the basic documentations they require of us.
2) Knowledge of renewable energy technologies, such as the ability to assess the energy saving potential by energy source, amount of heat output in gas stoves, conversions into electricity equivalences etc.
3) Any specific expertise or experience in forestry e.g. accounting for soil and biomass carbon pools and sequestration processes.
4) Web design and domain acquisition. We have a single page webpage (URL below) which is hosted and maintained by a UK sponsor, but it takes several months for project updates to appear on it. Until now, it was last updated in 2007 when our group had just been formed. Any advancement since then—such as the entire documentation about the recently proposed biogas project—does not appear there. Many potential funders have been skeptical of what we say we do, by looking at our website.
5) Basic groundwork. The coverage for the two proposed projects (Budiope) is 1975 km2. We would like to establish our work across this region e.g. several big tree nurseries (for the forestry project) and to begin the installation of biogas units for those households that can afford to fully cover the costs. Working initially as volunteers, this requires project administrative logistics by our team itself.

Those students that are not able to join us here in Uganda can simply join us online at our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=101008117382&ref=nf