The Heads of Mission representing the EU Delegation, Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary and Italy did a collective on-the-ground assessment of the sector opportunities and challenges, discussed pilot actions #TeamEurope is implementing to kick-start and mitigate the industry against the current negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During their visit, EU Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Attilio Pacifici officially handed over to Ugandan authorities, a ranger outpost funded under the EU transboundary project targeting Virunga and Queen Elizabeth national parks, implemented by the International Union for Conservation and Nature – Netherlands) (IUCN – NL) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The handover event was officiated by the Honourable Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Col. (Rtd) Tom Butime. The EU HoMs were left stunned by the sheer beauty of the landscape and rich biodiversity within the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s most popular savannah reserve and home to the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park.
The Ambassadors used the visit to highlight contentious issues for further engagement with Ugandan authorities and stakeholders, including alleged plans for the construction of a hydropower dam along Murchison falls, alleged plans to give away part of Bugoma forest for sugarcane plantation, unresolved land wrangles on the pristine Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and heavy road infrastructure developments within protected areas in the country.
During the visit, the EU HoMs affirmed their commitment to support the government of Uganda (GoU) and specifically the sector line Ministries (Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Transport, Water and Environment, Finance Planning and Economic Development among others) and sector agencies in an effort to maximise the benefits from the tourism – wildlife - development nexus.