By: Ismael Kasooha  


 President Yoweri Museveni has said the Government will upgrade some Central Forest Reserves and Wildlife Reserves to National Parks to promote conservation.

This was contained in his speech delivered by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja at the UN World Wildlife Day celebrations at Kagorogoro Primary School in Kyenjojo District  last week.

The event was marked under the theme: Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation. The President said the event was held to mobilise all people to participate in wildlife conservation and raise awareness about the benefits associated with (wildlife) resources.

Uganda Wildlife employees handling a live Python at Kagorogoro primary school play ground in Kyenjojo district.

Museveni praised the theme, saying it challenged all stakeholders in the tourism sector to embrace the diverse digital innovations to promote conservation and community development.

“It underscores the need to devise creative and innovative solutions to the challenges of deforestation, illegal logging, habitat degradation and climate change effects – all driven by man’s desire to satisfy his unending needs,” the President added.

Museveni said that the Government was committed to eliminating human-induced threats to wildlife like poaching, encroachment on protected areas, and deforestation, among others. “These activities destroy the natural balance that underpins the diversity of wildlife,” he stated. “It is important to note that loss of biodiversity has a long-term negative impact on human survival,”

The President said Uganda was one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, endowed with exceptional wildlife diversity. Museveni added that tourism significantly contributed to the national economy. In 2023, tourism provided jobs to 1.6 million people and 68% of these were females, according to the President. The sector accounts for 3.64% of the Growth Domestic Product.

The Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, who attended the event, urged all encroachers on wetlands and other protected areas to leave to facilitate the further development of the tourism sector and reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

The Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Col. (Rtd) Tom Butime said the Government was committed to continuing to develop the tourism sector.