According to UN, World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. Uganda’s flora and fauna have attracted several tourists for safaris in Uganda including; Uganda gorilla safaris, Uganda birding safaris, Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris, Uganda adventure safaris, nature walk and many more.
These preparations for the World Wildlife Day celebrations are therefore in high gear as Uganda waits to join the rest of the world to commemorate the United Nations World Wildlife Day on the 3rd March 2019. Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the Minister of Tourism said that “The national World Wildlife Day 2019 celebrations will be held at Boma ground in the West Nile District of Arua under the theme Harmonious living between Wildlife and People.” He also added that President Museveni is expected to grace the event as the chief guest.
The theme of the day as stated above was set to remind people of the need to ensure they have peaceful coexistence between wildlife and people. The Minister of Tourism said that the government of Uganda through the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), working with all stakeholders have undertaken several initiatives towards realizing harmonious living between wildlife and people among. The initiatives include involvement of local people in wildlife management decision making and sharing of Protected Area revenues (20%) with adjacent communities. They have also established wild animal barriers like trenches (237km), buffalo wall (16km), Mauritius live fences (192.5km), and crocodile cages (12) and electric fencing (10km construction) were ongoing at Rubirizi, said Kamuntu.
Other initiatives include; use of beehives (8,557 hives), chilli cakes, buffer crops like tea to prevent human wildlife conflicts, regulation of protected area resource access, empowerment of communities to engage in alternative livelihoods like community tourism and continuous engagement through education and awareness.
The Government of Uganda also proposed the establishment of Community Wildlife Committees for each conservation area and a wildlife damage compensation scheme.
Ahead of the main celebrations, the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities in collaboration with its line sector agencies, the Academia, local communities and all Private Sector Associations in Tourism and Conservation were organizing a series of events and media engagements to commemorate the day and the program is as follows;
Wildlife Conservation Quiz (Tertiary) in partnership with Wildlife Clubs of Uganda
22nd Feb 2019
|Kampala City Clean Up in partnership with Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust||22nd Feb 2019||Nakawa Market|
|Annual Wildlife Marathon (5km, 10km, 21km)||24th Feb 2019||Start and Finish at National Museum|
|Conservation Conference in partnership with Nature Uganda||26th -27th Feb 2019||tbd|
|Wildlife Conservation Quiz (Primary Schools) in partnership with Wildlife Clubs of Uganda||1st March 2019||Arua|
|Arua Town Clean Up||tbd||Arua Town|
|Ayavu Primary School renovations||tbd||Arua Town|
|Arua Tree planting exercise||tbd||Arua|
|Wildlife Conservation Quiz (Secondary Schools) in partnership with Wildlife Clubs of Uganda||2nd March 2019||Arua|
|National World Wildlife Day Celebrations Route March flag off||3rd March 2019||Arua|
|National World Wildlife Day Cerebrations
Chief Guest: HE the President of the Republic of Uganda
|3rd March 2019||Boma Grounds, Arua|
Uganda wildlife is a heritage of the country. Every time you poach, you create an imbalance in the concentration of wildlife, animals and plants that live in the wild have an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of human well-being and sustainable development. Therefore, this day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.