Mr. Kiyingi has a specialty in Natural Resources Management with a bias in forestry. He holds a Master’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management, and a Postgraduate Diploma in mass communication and public relations. Gaster started off his career as a GIS specialist at the then Forest Department in Uganda (1999), has been involved in the forest sector reforms leading to the establishment of the National Forestry Authority in 2004, worked at the Nile Basin Initiative (2007 – 2009), worked as a Senior Technical Advisor for the USAID funded Environment Management for Oil Sector Activity (2015 – 2017) before setting up Tree Talk Plus, an organization that he now leads. Tree Talk Plus is now the Secretariat of the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) Network.
He has over 25 years of experience in forestry, water, and environment sectors working with Government and Non-Government Organizations but also with Development Partners (USAID, GIZ, DfID, UNDP). He has both managerial and field experience as a coordinator, team leader, and manager of various projects both nationally and regionally. His strengths lie in the fields of capacity building, mentoring, policy advocacy, and lobbying for the environment and natural resources. Gaster has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and policy development processes at the national level and within the region that covers countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Burundi. His recent engagements include environment management for oil sector activity in the Albertine Region, development of an Integrated Water Development and Management Plan for the Albertine Graben, Bio-diversity and ecosystem restoration among commercial agriculture farmers, Impacts and implications of agro-commodities (sugarcane, oil palm, tobacco, coffee, tea) on the environment and natural resources, Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), and engagements surrounding assessment of vulnerabilities to determine climate actions.
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