The minister of tourism and antiquities, Ephraim Kamuntu has warned Ugandans that they risk more effects of climate change being manifested in the common occurrence of floods and droughts if they do not jealously conserve nature.
The droughts and floods and droughts are becoming more frequent with bigger impact across the world, according to Kamuntu.
“Everything on earth is there for a purpose,” stressed Kamuntu. “Be it a reptile, mammal, plant or insect – it as a role in creating an eco-balance. The more reason poachers, swamp encroachers and dealers in prohibited natural areas ought to be halted.”
He was speaking as the chief guests at a three day international conference organised by the International Zoo Educators’ Association at the Floating Restaurant near the shores of Lake Victoria at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe. The workshop was attracted conservation educators from East and South African conservation educators.
“Avoid amassing fast wealth at the cost of what nature has endowed us with,” summed up Kamuntu. “We owe future generations the mammals, reptiles and birds that we inherited.”
The facilitator from South Africa Judy Mann in the same tone urged participants to educate children, policy makers and traditional leaders about the benefits of conservation. The regional president of zoos and aquarium, David Musingo called for a revolution in mind sets.
“The world is now a global village,” said Musingo. “Knowing that the developed world was once like what Uganda is today, the challenge is upon us, to divert and avoid going where they are today.
Judy Mann started the training by taking the participants regarding the meaning of conservation for sustainability and why it is important to practice conservation. She said that it is important to change the mindset of people and promote conservation for the current and future generations.
Mann also clarified that conservation does not mean preservation as most people think. She said conservation means managing the human population so that can use the environment in a sustainable way.
However, preservation is still applied in the sustainable use of resources. For instance the big forest reserves in Uganda have some areas that have been set aside for preservation. Other areas are left for tourism and production for timber harvesting and an area where communities collect herbs, firewood and honey.
The participants will on Thursday visit Makanaga wetland that is located on Lake Victoria and famous for the much sought after bird known as the Shoebill stork.