A Meeting Of Two Mountains To Address Climate Change
Mt. Elgon shares a similar mountainous landscape like the Rwenzori and is the leading Arabic coffee growing region in Uganda making its farmers the preferred point of reference for learning.
The learning visit is part of the community empowerment interventions under the “Sustainable Financing of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Project” (SFRMNP) being implemented by WWF Uganda Country Office and funded by European Union (EU) and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM)
“The trip was rewarding and the farmers committed to adopting the best practices they were exposed to during the visit” says Richard Mwesigwa, the Project Manager.
He adds, “The farmers that visited Mt. Elgon have also committed to passing on the knowledge all their association members to understand and embark on the best practices especially the Climate Smart Approach to agriculture and agro-tourism.”
According to the research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food security, Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change. It involves sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development; adapting and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fisheries).
Busongora Joint Farmers Association is one of the community-based organizations that was selected to be supported by the SFMNP project. It comprises of 516 farmers (129 males and 387 females) from communities neighboring the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. They were hosted by Kawacom Ltd, one of the leading agencies dealing in coffee processing, marketing and certification in Uganda. Kawacom is currently working with over 30,000 farmers around the country to help them improve their agricultural practices.
Prince Bernhard Scholarship now OPEN
The aim of the WWF Prince Bernhard Scholarship Fund (PBS) is to provide financial support to individuals wishing to pursue short-term professional training or formal studies that will help them contribute more effectively to conservation efforts in their country.
Interested persons can find the application form (in English only) as well as the guidelines (in English, French & Spanish) here.
The deadline by which candidates should submit their applications is 5 January 2016.
Plot 2, Sturrock Road, P.O. Box 8758, Kampala, UGANDA
Tel: +256 414 540064/5
Sustainable Financing of Rwenzori Mountain National Park Project Launched
In 2014, WWF Uganda started implementing a three and a half year Sustainable Financing of Rwenzori Mountain National Park project with financial support from the European Union worth 1.3 M Euros and French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) worth 700,000 Euros. The project aims to achieve effective conservation of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a World Heritage and Ramsar Site, through the development of a sustainable financing mechanism that realizes the potential value of the National Parks ecosystem services with engagement of the private sector in the management of natural resources. The project also aims to contribute to incomes for the poor populations living around the Rwenzori Mountain.
During the FFEM co-financing launch event, H.E. Schmidt also commended WWF for the achievements realized through other EU funded projects.
“I also want to congratulate our partners from WWF. We have been working together for some time now in other areas; Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) etc.” He said.
“Your work is obviously of the best quality so we had no hesitation to conclude on this particular project. We know you are absolutely committed to the environment and its protection.”
He then called for explicit control of wildlife trade in the country,
“I regret to point out the increasing wildlife crime in Uganda as has been reported. As you are aware, Uganda is a very important transit route for wildlife trafficking, but is also a source of wildlife crime in itself.” He added.
“We are eagerly looking forward to the timely conclusion of the investigations at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for example, and other cases of wildlife crime which have tarnished the image of the institutions implicated and the country in general.”
During the same event the Country Director, WWF Uganda, Mr. David Duli, thanked all the partners for their cooperation,
“WWF is thankful to government of Uganda - Central and Local Governments, our development partners and the private sector for the collaborative engagement in managing natural resources, addressing livelihood for the rural poor and providing sustainable financing for protected areas. This public-private partnership supports government efforts in delivery of the National Development Plan.” Mr. Duli said.
In addition to France’s contribution to the project through the EU delegation, the French Ambassador H.E. Sophie Makame also signed and handed over the 700,000 Euros cheque which was the co-financing contribution from the FFEM.
The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba highlighted the importance and challenges faced by the Rwenzori Mountains saying,
“Given the rich biodiversity, the Rwenzori Mountains have also become an important site for scientific and applied research. However, the mountains are threatened with encroachment, wild fires, deforestation, illegal logging, poaching and climate change that continues to impact on the unique feature - snow along the equator.”
She added, “I hope you will continue supporting wildlife conservation in a manner and mix that sustains national values and interests.”
Kasese District Local Government was represented by the District Vice Chairperson, Mr Muhindo Tadeo. He thanked WWF and the Ambassadors for the financial support provided to ensure Sustainable Financing of Rwenzori Mountain National Park. The event was attended by government agencies, envoys from the French and EU delegation, CSOs, private sector representatives and the media.
Poaching is an attack on Uganda's Economic Transformation
In March 2013, based on the findings of the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna And Flora (CITES) identified eight countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, China, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam) as the most heavily implicated in the illegal ivory trade chain as source, transit or destination countries.
According to CITES, in 2013 alone more than 20,000 Elephants were illegally killed across the African continent. It is therefore no surprise that the African elephant population is currently estimated at only 500,000 ; a figure that a number of institutions believe is too optimistic.
The number of elephants that are killed far exceeds the number of elephants being born.
WWF Uganda Country Office (UCO) encourages all relevant stakeholders to join hands with the government of Uganda to raise awareness on Illegal Wildlife Trade as well as secure commitments related to tackling the challenge of the illegal buying and selling of wildlife products in the country.
Clean Energy Champion District
The initiative is a pilot scheme where WWF is showcasing tools and approaches of how engaging with local stakeholders at district level is a preferred approach to increasing energy access for off grid communities in Uganda. This includes clean energy for cooking and lighting.
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