Conservationists Count on Jane Goodall to Elevate Uganda’s Conservation Movement

Ugandan conservationists are placing their trust in Dr. Jane Goodall to leverage her influence to address environmental conservation, empower youth in the conservation movement, and rally Ugandans to actively participate in environmental protection and restoration efforts.

Dr. Jane Goodall, a renowned environmental conservationist, anthropologist, primatologist, and UN Messenger of Peace, is set to visit Uganda again from August 20th to 25th as part of her international conservation efforts. Her visit also coincides with the 25th-anniversary celebration of the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which she played a pivotal role in establishing.

Despite Uganda’s stringent environmental laws, the country continues to grapple with alarming rates of environmental degradation. Deforestation rates are high, wetland areas have significantly decreased, and iconic species like the crested crane are endangered due to factors such as infrastructure development, urban expansion, and agriculture.

Dr. Goodall’s extensive expertise and influence have had a global impact. Her work has led to policy reforms, grassroots movements, and a global conversation on environmental preservation. Ugandan conservationists hope that her visit will catalyze transformative change within the country.

During a press briefing prior to her visit, James Byamukama, the executive director of the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda, revealed an ambitious agenda for Dr. Goodall’s visit.

She is scheduled to engage with key figures, including the speaker of parliament, the ministers of Environment and Tourism, and the Australian Ambassador, to advocate for intensified conservation efforts.

A public dialogue will bring together influential stakeholders to explore solutions for harmonious human-wildlife coexistence.

Dr. Goodall is also expected to meet with the First Lady, who is the patron of the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary, to advance outcomes from partnership meetings. She will engage with the European Union delegation to Uganda to announce support for a new national Chimpanzee strategy, aimed at protecting the animals, their habitat, and surrounding communities.

Additionally, discussions with the US ambassador will solidify donor partnerships with the US government. A significant highlight of the visit will be the launch of the “Roots and Shoots” movement Uganda chapter, headquartered at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) in Entebbe. This initiative aims to inspire youth toward conservation.

Shivan Kamugisha the partnerships coordinator at the Wildlife Conservation society-WCS, says that conservationists eagerly anticipate Dr. Goodall’s visit, hoping it will inspire the younger generation to take a stand for wildlife conservation, particularly for chimpanzees and their habitat.

As the executive director of the chimpanzee trust managing the Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary, Joshua Rukundo emphasizes that Goodall’s visit is timely, emphasizing the increasing need for coexistence between humans and wildlife, with humans taking the lead.

Dr. Jane Goodall’s global conservation contributions are undeniable. From Tanzania to China, her work has spurred significant positive changes. In Uganda, her influence has led to vital conservation efforts in Kibale National Park and the Ngamba Island sanctuary, along with robust anti-poaching initiatives.

Across the world, her advocacy has protected species like giant pandas and Bengal tigers while inspiring sustainable practices and policies. In a world facing ecological challenges, Dr. Jane Goodall’s impact reverberates through generations.

As she embarks on her journey in Uganda, her steadfast commitment to conservation promises to ignite hope, inspire change, and safeguard the planet for years to come.

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