Uganda U-turn on Animal Export?
Proact welcomes Uganda President Yoweri Museveni`s call yesterday for an immediate ban of trade in wild birds and other animals?President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda yesterday called for the immediate ban of the trade in wild animals. He called for Uganda to withdraw from the export of the animals, saying the trade contravenes the Africa Growth. Opportunities Act (AGOA) objectives. While launching the conservation endowment fund at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) Entebbe, President Museveni said the export of wild animals to the USA cannot be allowed under AGOA. We cannot export our wild animals under AGOA, but we can exploit them through tourism,` Museveni said. In a drive to ensure effective conservation of wildlife, Museveni put $100,000 into the conservation education trust fund. The fund aims to raise US$5m from local and international contributions. The funds will help UWEC meet its operational costs. President Museveni wondered why the ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry was not marketing wildlife as a source of wealth. He said Uganda had the advantage of a good climate, diverse cultures and friendly people. These things we have are treasures. They are unique assets, but you don`t know the value of the wealth you have. Instead of spending all the time on coffee, it would benefit us more if we promoted tourism,` he said. He went on to say that Spain gets 50 million tourists every year. If each brought in $500, that would be almost $25b. You do not know that you are losing easy money, he said. Uganda resumed exporting wildlife two years ago, attracting condemnation from animal rights activists and natural conservationists including a campaign from Proact members. A spokesman for Proact said that he did not know if letters to the President from Proact members had made a difference, but, in any event, we are very relieved by this U-turn in policy.
4th July 2014