Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda has been elected to serve on the World Heritage Committee for the first time.
The World Heritage Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention that defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
Uganda was one of 12 new members elected by the 21st General Assembly of the State Parties to the World Heritage Convention at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on November 14, 2017.
It is the first time Uganda will be serving as a member of the World Heritage Committee after the assembly of the 193 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention cast their votes in the hotly contested election.
The committee has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Uganda’s mineral industry has enjoyed a spectacular surge in recent years.
Gold exports reached $340 million in 2016, according to official figures, up from $237,000 in 2014. New mining sites are opening across the country, creating jobs for thousands of people.
But a new report from environmental NGO Global Witness claims there is a dark side to the boom, that the mineral sector is fueling corruption, conflict, human rights abuses, and environmental damage.
The 18-month investigation “Uganda: Undermined” draws on interviews with miners, company executives, government officials, and industry experts to paint a stark picture of the sector.
“Our investigations show that Uganda’s mining sector is characterized by corruption, mismanagement and high level political influence,” says George Boden, Uganda campaign leader at Global Witness. “Impunity is endemic and attempts at reform have all failed in the face of entrenched interests.”
The national parks in Uganda play a vital role in conservation by protecting the region’s rare and endangered flora and fauna.
10. Semuliki National Park
The Semeliki National Park is located in the Bwamba County of western Uganda on the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was established in October 1993 and occupies an area of 194 square km. The Semeliki National Park is well-known for its rich and diverse flora and fauna and is especially famous for birds, of which over 400 species exist in the park. Nine hornbill species have also been recorded at the park. More than 60 mammalian species including leopards, hippos, forest buffaloes, elephants, civets, duikers, and 8 species of primates also live here. The Semuliki and the Lamia Rivers that flow by the park are watering places for the park’s wildlife.
You will never see the day when you are as strong and as important as them. They weigh more than 200kg. They can rip a man into pieces and can break trees with their bare hands. They intimidate their opponents into a no contest by thumping their chests. They make more than Shs40 billion for the country a year.
Despite their legendary strength, they have a great fear of chameleons, caterpillars and water. And half of their world population lives in Uganda. They are mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei), a species listed as endangered and can only be found in Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks in Uganda.
However, it is only in Bwindi, where half of the World’s 880 mountain gorillas are found.
The Buganda kingdom dates 200 years back with very rich history and establishment. One of the outstanding treasures of Buganda are the tombs which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Having experienced the tragedy of the burning down the only Heritage Site of its kind in Uganda, the kingdom is looking for motivated volunteers to help rebuild the former glory of the kingdom by conserving, protecting and promoting the heritage site in all aspects.
The volunteers will be partnering with the kingdom to rebuild, restore, and document some of the activities of a two decade legacy.
Volunteer tasks include: restoration, promotion and protection of cultural values and sites; Intercultural exchange; social work; educational support; Guiding and counseling; tree planting.
Study theme: Protection, preservation and promotion of historic heritage, sustainable tourism and improved livelihood for local communities.