UBF marks 7 years, Launches the Women in Conservation Forum and awards Top Conservation Journalists

On 11th August 2023, UBF celebrated its seventh anniversary. The high-level event was attended by among others the Minister of Water and Environment Hon. Beatrice Anywar – also representing Uganda’s Vice President, EU Delegation in Uganda’s Head of Cooperation Ms. Caroline Adriaesen, USAID Mission in Uganda’s Deputy Mission Director Daniele Nyirandutiye, parliamentarians, government of Uganda agencies, the UBF Board of Trustees, development partners, civil society organizations and the Media.

Speaking at the event, Hon. Beatrice Anywar, congratulated UBF on marking seven years and noted government’s commitment to exploring alternative livelihoods, particularly in wetlands, as a sustainable approach to environmental conservation.

The Minister, who also launched the Women in Conservation Forum, highlighted the crucial role of women in environmental conservation. She praised women for their resilience and stressed their contributions to safeguarding water sources, ensuring food security, and maintaining healthy families. “Women take exceptional care to ensure that the sources of water are not drained, that there is food on the table, that they have a healthy family because if it turns the other way round, it is the woman to bear the burden” said Anywar.

The minister called for increased inclusion of women in decision-making processes and urged that their voices be given serious consideration. She cited government’s efforts in education and economic empowerment as steps towards achieving this goal. “Many women have come out of the kitchen into the boardrooms. I am one of the testimonies,” she noted.

Vice President Alupo, in a message conveyed by Minister Anywar, extended her congratulations to UBF on their 7th anniversary and the launch of the Women in Conservation Forum. She explained the importance of conserving Uganda’s ecosystems and biodiversity for the country’s sustained existence. She challenged the misconception that nature’s diversity derives value solely from economic exploitation and commercial gain, emphasizing the need for a holistic conservation approach.

To promote environmental reporting, UBF recognized top conservation journalists for their contributions. Olivia Nakalembe and Kisekka Edward from NBS received the top award, followed by Sarah Biryomumaisho from The UGPost in second place. Noeline Nabukenya from Daily Monitor secured third place, and Moses Ndhaye from KFM came fourth.

The award ceremony featured 13 journalists covering four thematic areas: Smart Technology to counter human-wildlife conflict, sustainable land management practices and restoration of Rushango Wetland in Kamwenge district, Restoration of forest cover and improvement of livelihoods in refugee settlements and enhancing community livelihoods and resilience through sustainable land management, tree planting, and the restoration of Bugoma Forest in Hoima District.

The Winner Olivia Nakalembe – NBS TV warmly receives her accolade from Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Beatrice Anywar Atim.

1stRunner-up Sarah Biryomumaisho receives her award from EU in Uganda Head of Cooperation, Caroline Adriaensen

Moses Ndhaye shows off his award. He got 4th place in the UBF Journalist Awards 2023.

Noelina Nabukenya receives her Award (3rd Place) from USAID Uganda Ag. Mission Director, Daniele Nyirandutiye.

Ms Caroline Adriaesen the Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation in Uganda, said that UBF has an important mission to promote biodiversity conservation in Uganda.

“It does so by mobilizing financial resources and working with different partners to implement projects and initiatives focused on conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection,” she said. Adding that she was pleased to say that the EU proudly supports Uganda Biodiversity Fund to implement one of the projects.

USAID Uganda’s Acting Mission Director, Daniele Nyirandutiye, in her remarks said that this year’s celebration is especially exciting due to the launch of the Women in Conservation Forum.

She explained that “we face complex climate and biodiversity challenges that call on each one of us to double down on our efforts. Despite these challenges, globally, women remain underrepresented in leading solutions to these urgent conservation challenges. We know that daily, women are the ones who gather water, fuelwood, and food. And are at the forefront of serving as strong pillars supporting community livelihoods. “The launch of this Forum is timely, and I commend UBF for spearheading this effort” Danielle Said.

The Women in Conservation Forum is an initiative of UBF designed to convene all women in biodiversity conservation space in Uganda and together claim rightful centre stage discussions to improve the sector.