Environment Local

Conservationists say war against biodiversity loss still needs more efforts

BY RWENZORI DAILY

Conservationists have expressed concern over the speed at which Uganda is losing its biodiversity, noting that something ought to be done to change the situation.

“We have degraded our environment to level of to whom it may concern which is very dangerous. We need to look internally in ourselves. We have cut down our forests and destroyed water bodies. We need to find ways of ensure conservation of biodiversity,” said Olupot Okasai, the State Minister for Energy.

He was speaking during the launch of the biodiversity commitments at Sky Hotel on Friday.

The minister said something needs to be done to save the situation.

The World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF) country director, said  the situation is alarming.

“There is need to prioritize biodiversity because it is the things we depend on. Can you imagine a situation where grasshoppers (Nsenene) is not any more in Buganda yet there is Nsenene clan ! It doesn’t show a good trend. When you go to Teso, some of the biodiversity we used to enjoy is no longer there,” Weredwong said.

“Life without biodiversity is nothing. That’s why we need to ensure that it protected at all costs.”

The WWF country director noted that it is high time conservation of biodiversity is prioritized by both government and private citizens in all they do.

“I call upon all stakeholders to mainstream their commitments towards biodiversity conservation. The religious leaders, civil society and private sector, please mainstream your commitment towards this call. WWF is more than committed to biodiversity conservation in Uganda,” he said.

Commitments

At the function, several stakeholders committed themselves to playing crucial roles in the conservation of biodiversity.

According to Dr.Robert Nabanyumya, a consultant for sustainable land management, agriculture and energy sector development have contributed the most to destruction of the biodiversity.

He said commitments in the promotion sustainable of land management practices among smallholder farmers, restoration of degraded habitats and planning for indigenous trees particularly agroforestry ought to be made.

In the energy sector, he said commitments need to be made in terms of  wood energy plantations, promote and incentivize use of alternative energy sources and promoting and installing efficient cook stoves and equipment such pressure cookers.

“The commitments being made by different stakeholders are helping us strengthen action towards biodiversity conservation. It is also going to help strengthen local linkages within existing and on-going efforts and it is helping us build momentum for more engagements for biodiversity sustainability. The world is now seeing us from a different perspective,” said Simon Peter Weredwong, the WWF country director.

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