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WWF Uganda Calls for Scaling up of Digital Innovations in conservation

WWF Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate International wildlife day with a clear call to all actors in the conservation world to embrace technology to boost conservation.

The Minister of ICT in Uganda, while speaking at the wildlife conference to mark the international wildlife day stated that the Ministry was working very closely with conservation actors to ensure affordability of digital innovations to boost efficiency in wildlife management.

Speaking during the conference, Philip Kihumuro, the manager in charge of forest restoration and carbon absorption projects at the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said the use of technology like satellites can be great assets in helping deal with the challenge of human wildlife conflict.

“It is very important to understand the connection between humans and wildlife and how to use digital innovations and technologies to ensure habitats are secured for wildlife and benefit of people. One of the things we are doing is how to use technology to determine and trace for deforestation.  For example, we use satellites to do determine forest cover loss and this helps to determine where to put much emphasis, especially on forest loss,” Kihumuro said.

“An example is working in Bugoma-Kagombe landscape in Kagadi district in Kagombe central forest reserve. In these habitants we ensure we determine habitats degraded mostly and use satellites to determine areas that require a lot of emphasis.”

Daniel Ndihiziwe, the Wildlife and Protected Areas Manager at WWF added that Digital technology has significantly transformed traditional wildlife conservation strategies.

“While we cope with human-induced conservation challenges, digital innovations such as drones, satellite tracking, DNA barcoding and social media have become critically relevant to the contemporary practice of wildlife conservation by improving our understanding of wildlife behavior, tracking illegal wildlife trade and trafficking, predicting biodiversity threats, and informing effective conservation strategies”, he explained.

Daniel added that WWF together with the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities used the Wildlife Day celebrations to highlight new technological tools and related developments to complement Uganda’s efforts in safeguarding biodiversity and harnessing benefits from wild animals and plants.

The Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah, represented President Museveni as the Chief Guest at the occasion commemorating United Nations World Wildlife Day (WWD) at Kagorogoro Primary School grounds in Kyenjojo district.

In his message, the President stated that the day provides an opportunity to renew global commitment to sustaining the earth’s diverse wildlife population. He added that this day aims to mobilize people to participate in wildlife conservation and raise awareness about the benefits that accrue from the abundant God-given wildlife resources.
© Happy Ali
WWF Conservation Programs Manager, Simon Peter Weredwong Interacting with Hon Tom Butime, Cabinet Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities after the media briefing at Uganda Media Center