The Project aimed at identifying the financial gaps that exist in the conservation of ecosystems in Uganda have been launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) along with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
The Biodiversity Finance Initiative
(BIOFIN) project aiming at identification of how much and how to pull
finances for the conservation of forests, lakes and wetlands among other
natural resources that form crucial Uganda safari products have been
The Country Director of UNDP Ms. Almaz Gebru while
launching the project in Jinja last week noted that BIOFIN aims at
utilizing the economic and financial lens to gain broader understanding
of the eco-systems and how to ensure their effective management
vis-à-vis continued destruction. An example of how Uganda depends on
water regulation from forests, the wildlife for wildlife safaris in Uganda,
food from sustainable agriculture, healthy rivers and lakes for energy,
fish along other services which makes the maintenance of such eco
systems significant for the national development.
It can be
acknowledged that to maintain such ecosystems, one requires in depth
understanding of the legal, economic, policy and the financial systems
that interact the one another and it is from this back ground that the
initiative of BIOFIN becomes of use.
The Natural resource Management
officer at NEMA Mr. Sabino Francis Ogwal noted that by ascertaining the
amount that environment contributes to GDP; it will assist them to
request from the finance adequate money for environmental conservation.
The ecosystem is credited to be a big contributor of the attractions
that attract travelers to undertake Uganda safaris.
Mr. Moses Ssonko who is a senior economist in the Finance Ministry
noted that to identify the funding priorities during the budget
formulation is always a challenge though the Ministry would prioritize
the funding for the conservation of environment following the project.
He however noted that inadequate law enforcement is another loophole in
the environmental conservation besides finances.
About 15% of the population is direct beneficiary of biodiversity through fishing and tourism – safari tours in Uganda
but it is unfortunate that the area continues to secure low funding.
This was noted by Ms. Flavia Munaana who is the State Minister for