The Bird Friendly Certification initiative E. Africa has been started here at the Rwenzori Sustainable Trade Centre (RSTC), Uganda to look at the feasibility of attaining Bird Friendly Certification for local, cooperative-grown coffee against criteria set by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre (SMBC). For Cocoa there isn’t yet an official Bird Friendly Certification standard however the SMBC are currently working on one. Our aim is to also attain Bird Friendly Certification for Cocoa once criteria are in place. Our chosen local cooperatives are located within the Bundibugyo region the foothills and mountains which lead to the Semeliki National Park run by UWA and visited by numerous tour groups from its stunning scenery and wealth of bird species and other wildlife.
The SMBC Bird Friendly Certificate is the ‘Gold Standard’ of scientifically tested, rigorous ecologically-friendly agricultural criteria seen by Ornithologists and other ecologists to enhance bird populations. It achieves environmental protection through planting and maintaining tree canopy, including native and regenerative species, thus enhancing wildlife populations whilst also being said to bring a richer flavour to the coffee, or other harvest, which under tree canopy grows and matures at a slower rate.