The US ambassador to Uganda HE Scott DeLisi visited Murchison Falls National Park ad launched the USAID funded Tourism for Biodiversity Program implemented by African Wildlife Foundation.
The ambassador said in his speech;
“We’re here to launch a new program that will help Ugandans to preserve their heritage so thatit can be shared with all the nation’s citizens and with the world. The Tourism for Biodiversity Project is a cooperative agreement with those who know first-hand Uganda’s natural beauty and the urgent need to protect it: the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the National Forestry Authority, Nature Uganda, and the Uganda Community Tourism Association.”
This program aims at is a critical foundation for human welfare and development. Biodiversity is concentrated in tropical forests, where 70 percent of all plants and animals live. Biodiversity loss has accelerated from just a few species going extinct each year to an estimated 1,000 species disappearing annually. The collective actions of seven billion people are undermining the natural resource base and threaten to erode development gains around the world.
USAID has partnered with Uganda in tourism to preserve the inspiring Murchison Falls and the park’s abundant wildlife, to the diverse bird and primate populations of the Budongo Forest, the tremendous natural beauty of our planet and the richness and abundance that exists around us, according to the ambassador.
The program is part of a global mission, and this is the second decade of the century which has been designated as the United Nations Decade of Biodiversity.
“We wants to do our part, and through the Tourism for Biodiversity program, the American people plan to provide up to 10 million dollars over the next four years for tourism and biodiversity conservation in Uganda.” Said Mr DeLisi
He continued to say;
“According to the President Obama’s U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, it emphasizes “boosting broad-based economic growth” as critical to Africa’s development. Uganda’s tourism is one of the least appreciated and most underdeveloped sources of economic growth but preserving the natural world around us while making it more accessible to tourism, we can give Uganda a resource that will last for all time”
The ambassador finished his speech with the following remarks and the program and partnership was launched.
“It is with great pleasure that the U.S. Mission, in partnership with the Government of Uganda, launches the Tourism for Biodiversity program. I believe that together we can make a difference and I hope that someday your grandchildren, and mine, will be the beneficiaries of what we begin.”