Ugandan MPs have criticised a plan to clear thousands of hectares of rainforest east of the capital, Kampala, for a sugar plantation.
Uganda wants to expand its sugar industry
MP Beatrice Atim said that leasing parts of Mabira Forest Reserve to a sugar company was a matter of national concern, the state-run paper reports.
The lawmakers were reacting to reports that the government is to seek parliament's approval for the plan.
Mabira Forest supports more than 300 bird species.
According to BirdLife International, Mabira Forest Reserve is the largest block of moist semi-deciduous forest remaining in the central region of Uganda.
"The give-away is a threat to the biodiversity of the eco-system of the forest and it cannot be brushed aside," the New Vision newspaper quotes MP Sebuliba Mutumba as saying.
An official from Uganda's National Forestry Authority said the move would be a "disaster".
"The ecosystem will be disturbed, the biodiversity will be destroyed and people's livelihoods will change for the worse," the official told AFP news agency, requesting anonymity.
Last year, President Yoweri Museveni ordered a study into the possibility of axing 7,000 hectares of Mabira Forest, nearly a third of the reserve, to expand a nearby sugar estate, Reuters news agency reports.