The study move to fund ecosystems launched by United Nations and Nema
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 initiated.
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 Environment.
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