BY JOACKIM KULE
The Community Conservation Warden for the Rwenzori Mountains National Park has observed need for the establishment of an improved system of fighting against illegal wildlife trade that has internationally affected wildlife growth.
Ms Alice Natukunda made the remarks today during a stakeholders’ engagement meeting for the Greater Virunga Landscape Conservation that was held at TJ Global Hotel in Kasese town.
The Greater Virunga Landscape Conservation Area covers three countries of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda.
The Greater Virunga Conservation is an international organization that was introduced to establish Trans-boundary collaboration in wildlife conservation and promotion of Tourism Development in the three states.
Natukunda highlighted that the fight against illegal wildlife trade needs to be improved in terms of technology especially through the use of drones around the National Parks.
She also noted that the people living near the National Parks need to be empowered so that they can adopt the use of solar energy to reduce any encroachments on the National Parks as they look firewood.
Mr. Juvenal Mukeshimana, the Programme Assistant for Greater Virunga Transboundary Conservation indicated that there was need for joint efforts to minimize Invasive Plant Species that are not friendly to wildlife, adding that such species are common in most National Parks across the three countries.
Mr. William Makune Abwooli, the Chief Administrative Officer for Ntoroko District also cited need for all the three countries to intervene into the matters of armed/security conflicts within the National Parks in an attempt to promote tourism activities.
ASP Peter Abaho who represented the District Police Commander for Bundibugyo at the meeting highlighted a challenge of the porous borders that he said their security should be streamlined because they promote wildlife trafficking.
Lt. Joe Walusimbi, the Kasese Resident District Commissioner told the participants at the meeting that the criminals who were said to have entered the Queen Elizabeth National Park would be flashed out.
He, however, called for coordination of all the stakeholders in the sister districts in the fight against suspected criminals that threaten the Tourism sector.