The importance of forests in Uganda can be categorized into two i.e. productive importance and protective importance.
- Forests protect against erosion i.e. the leaves of the trees break the force of rain drops before they reach the ground. Also, the fallen leaves help to mulch the soil hence protecting it from erosion like those on Elgon slopes.
- Tree roots bind the soil particles together making them less liable to erosion. Also, tree branches act as windbreakers hence reducing the strength of the wind that would have carried the top soil like on Mt. Rwenzori.
- Forests facilitate the formation of rainfall through the process of evapotranspiration. This has led to rainfall in areas where forests are found like in Mabira-Mukono. Such rainfall has facilitated the growth of sugarcanes at Lugazi sugar estate.
- Forests provide a habitat for wild animals and birds and protecting the rare species of animals such as gorillas in Bwindi that has boosted the tourism industry for jobs to Ugandans.
- Forests help to prevent desertification through modification of the climate as they form rainfall in the process of evapotranspiration like in Mabira-Mukono which in turn has favored tea growing at Kasaku.
- Trees provide oxygen in the atmosphere and absorb carbon dioxide which reduces global warming. Forests like Mabira have absorbed pollution from Namanve and Jinja industries.
- Forests like Budongo and Kalinju provide fuel in form of biomass in terms of firewood and charcoal used for both industrial and domestic purposes. Industries like bakeries, and bricklaying factories like in Kajjansi use firewood from Ssese forests.
- Timber derived from the forests such as Ssese and Mabira is used for a variety of purposes. For instance making furniture, paper and pulp, matches, and construction purposes, all of economic importance to Uganda through job provision and revenue to the government.
- Forests like Aber and Agwata provide poles for telephone and rural electrification. Eucalyptus tree poles are usually used, and also for construction purposes. This has led to increased industrialization in Uganda.
- Tropical rain forests of Mabira, Mgahinga, and Bwindi act as tourist attraction potentials and this promotes the tourism industry thus earning foreign exchange for further development.
- Provision of employment opportunities as lumbermen in sawmills, forest rangers, officials in the tourist industry, furniture makers, etc. such Ugandans earns a lot of incomes improving on their standards of living.
- Forests contribute to the clean environment by reducing pollution of all types especially Mabira in Namanve industrial area i.e. absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. This increases the quality of life of Ugandans.
- Forests like mabira and Wiceri provide medicine in form of herbs that help to cure several diseases like moringa tree products, cinchona and aloe Vera which all cure diseases. This has improved on the life span of Ugandans.
- Forests like Kibale and Bugoma are source of food products such as fruits, honey, mushrooms, bee wax and gum. Also wild coffee is harvested mainly in Kibale forests and sold for cash. This improves on the incomes of Ugandans.
- Forests like Mabira and Ssese are used for research and study purpose by scholars of higher institutions. Foristance Makerere University uses forests for research.
- Forests are catchment areas for rivers as well as contributing rainfall into river channels. For instance, Mt. Elgon forests Support River Manafa and Masaba. This helps to support aquatic life hence the development of the fishing industry.
- Forests provide a good environment for recreation through picnics, hunting, and beach games like at Botanical beach forests in Entebbe. This supports tourism for foreign exchange.
- Forests are source of government revenue as well as foreign exchange from the exportation of bamboo poles to Germany. The exchange is used for further development.
Summary of positive importance i.e. Contributes gross domestic products, source of energy, provides valuable timber, yields valuable medicine, raw materials for art and craft industry, source of food (fruits), employment opportunities, income, revenue, urban growth around saw mills, promotes industrialization, foreign exchange, habitat for game/wildlife, tourist attraction, research promotion, catchment areas for rivers, positive modification of climate, protect soils from erosion, diversify the economy, promotes environmental purification, soil conservation through agro-forestry, act as wind breakers, promotes infrastructural development.