This morning the Tourism Private Sector met at the offices of AUTO (the Association of Uganda Tour Operators), in one voice to condemn the heinous killing of 11 lions that were allegedly poisoned in Queen Elizabeth National Park. In one voice, the tourism fraternity condemned the killing of lions and emphasized that the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) should ensure the protection of wildlife in Ugandan national parks.
Present at the meeting were heads of associations and different tourism private sector agencies including the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO), Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), Presidential Investors Round Table (PIRT), Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA) and the Uganda Hotel Owners’ Association (UHOA).
We were privileged to have several media houses with us, and continue to thank the press for their relentless support in covering stories of pertinent tourism importance.
Below is a summary of the collective consensus by the tourism private sector
1. We jointly condemn this malicious act
2. We jointly agree that there is need for nationwide sensitization of the public on the importance of wildlife, and there’s need to engage communities even more in wildlife protection.
3. There is need to amend Uganda’s laws that govern the protection of wildlife, and make these tougher. Expedite the revision of the wildlife Act.
4. Relocate and resettle communities living in the National Park, in the same way we are always praised for resettling refugees.
5. Killing predators impacts on the food chain, affects ecosystem balance and thus directly impacts on our businesses and the tourism value chain as a whole. We not only lose the poisoned lions but the scavengers like vultures that will eat the carcasses and all other microorganisms around the same area are also lost.
We must all jointly conserve nature (both fauna and flora) for future generations.
Source: Mike Kiwanuka, Experience Africa Safaris