The European Union (EU) Project Consortium comprising Uganda Biodiversity Fund (UBF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Nature Uganda (NU) and Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO) has set up a Steering Committee. The inaugural steering committee meeting held at UBF offices in Kampala brought together technical persons from the different sectors that the project represents. The project, “Restoring and conserving degraded fragile ecosystems for improved community livelihoods among refugee and host communities of West Nile Region and the Mid-Albertine Rift” is funded by the European Union.
The Steering Committee is composed of 13 members who in addition to the consortium include the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), representatives of the Local Government, the European Union Delegation in Uganda and from the farmers. The committee is chaired by Lucy Iyango, Assistant Commissioner, Water, and Inspection Department, Ministry of Water and Environment and the Co-Chairperson is John Magezi, Environment, and Energy Focal Point, Department of Refugees, Office of the Prime Minister.
The gathering included the host UBF acting Executive Director, Apophia Atukunda, who applauded the move to have a committee that would ensure the smooth running of the project with involvement from all concerned parties and stated that it “showed that the strong partnership is going to speed up the implementation of the project.”
The EU was represented by EEAS Programme Manager, Roisin Carlos who said that the EU has high regard for issues of environment and biodiversity and therefore considers this project a flagship to address these issues. She said, “the EU considers this project very important, and it is good that a steering committee has been put in place to strengthen the processes.”
The goal of the projects is to increase environmental and natural resources protection
through restoration and conservation of degraded natural resources (forests, wetlands, and woodlands), and improving livelihoods through sustainable land management and sustainable energy use by displaced populations and their host communities. In forming a steering committee, the purpose of the project will be strengthened through collaboration, ensure seamless communication between the partners, and ensure sustainability.