Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Wildlife Day on 3rd March, 2015. The celebrations started with pre events on 2nd March, 2015 in Kampala. These were presided over by the Minister for Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Honorable Maria Mutagamba. They included public match which ended at the Uganda Museum with a public lecture, under the theme;fighting wildlife crime in Uganda, gaps challenges and successes. The paper was delivered by Dr. Andrew Seguya, the Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and critiqued by Goddy Muhanguzi Muhumuza (PHD student) Senior Legal Officer & Head Legal Unit at Makerere University.
In her remarks, the minister noted that Uganda has been associated with illicit wildlife trade mainly as a transit country for illegal wildlife products especially ivory, and recently rhino horns and pangolin scales.
“I am glad to report that significant progress has been made including the adoption of the National Wildlife Policy (2014) by Cabinet. The policy provides an enabling framework for conservation and sustainable development of the country¡¯s wildlife resources…¡± Honorable Maria Mutagamba, 2nd March, 2015.
At the main celebrations on 3rd March, 2015 held at UWEC. Mr. James Lutalo, the Commissioner Wildlife presided over the event on behalf of the Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, whereas the Mayor of Entebbe Mr. Kayanja Vincent De¡¯ Paul was the Chief Guest.
At the event, UWEC showcased the quarantine/ veterinary unit, rescued and rehabilitated animals in addition to a series of presentations (music, dance and drama) performances from invited schools. A tree (Garcinia huillensis) was planted by the Mayor of Entebbe and other guests to commemorate the day.
UWEC acknowledges support from all the partners who made the day a success and would like to extend special thanks to; The Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Tourism Association (UTB), African Wildlife Foundation, Makerere University- COVAB, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), USAID, the media among others.