Keep the fight to conserve wildlife

A crested crane. PHOTO/FILE/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The issue: Wildlife conservation
  • Our view:  Communities, especially those neighbouring game parks, should also be continually sensitised about the importance of conserving wildlife and engaged as partners in this cause. Revenue sharing is also a good way to get locals to agree to the wildlife conservation agenda. 

Yesterday Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Wildlife Day under the theme, Recovering key species of ecosystem. 

In their statement, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities said the theme draws attention to the need to conserve keystone species of endangered plants and animals.

According to the ministry, there has been intensified law enforcement operations inside protected areas to curtail poaching, illegal wildlife trade and trafficking and that the government continues to engage communities on control of invasive species and manage human wildlife conflicts.

This, if effectively and efficiently carried out, will definitely go a long way in conserving wildlife. 
 Stories are rife of poachers that decimate wildlife to make a quick buck or communities neighbouring game parks struggling to keep straying wildlife away from their gardens and property and sometimes having to kill the animals due to this conflict. We have seen media stories of poachers caught trying to smuggle ivory across borders not to mention those that are never caught or paraded.

As long as we acknowledge the extent to which these and other dangers exist to wildlife and come up with lasting and feasible solutions, then we will be on the right track to meaningful conservation and will perhaps have even more to celebrate this time next year. 

Just last month, the ministry warned people against killing  the Crested Crane, saying culprits would face life in jail or pay a Shs20m fine. (See Daily Monitor  of February 18, Crested Crane killers face life in jail or Shs20 billion fine.) Such stringent measures should not only be set but followed religiously. 

Communities, especially those neighbouring game parks, should also be continually sensitised about the importance of conserving wildlife and engaged as partners in this cause. Revenue sharing is also a good way to get locals to agree to the wildlife conservation agenda. 

Fortunately, according to the ministry’s statement, the Wildlife Act, 2019, provides for enhanced community engagement and benefit sharing mechanisms and mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts. 

With targeted sensitisation drives and strict observance of measures put in place to punish those who set out to destroy wildlife, conservation will be achieved satisfactorily.  

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.