Six years down the road, the culture of information sharing by ITFC, UWA and Partners continues to thrive and positively influence management and conservation actions around Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation area (BMCA) and the surrounding protected areas.
This year’s annual ITFC-UWA information sharing workshop was held at the Conservation Education Center (CEC) in Ruhija on the 27th November 2015. Themed “Twenty-Four years of innovative Research and training in the Albertine rift (AR): ITFC, UWA and partners at the forefront of informing conservation and management of protected landscape”, the one-day workshop attracted forty-eight participants representing ten conservation organizations working in and around BMCA. The participating organizations included; the ITFC, UWA, IGCP, MUST, MVGP, GVTC, CTPH, MPI-EVA and UBODU. Several ITFC alumni, now working, for high profile conservation organizations in the country also attended. Eighteen presentations on topics ranging from ecological monitoring to wildlife health and community conservation were delivered. Each presentation was followed by question and answer sessions that got participants pondering and brain storming on better ways of conserving the Albertine region’s biodiversity.
The workshop was graced by the presence of the Mbarara University of Science and Technology Vice chancellor Professor Celestino Obua who was the chief guest, and officially opened the workshop.
The director ITFC, Associate Professor Robert Bitariho welcomed participants to ITFC and gave a brief history and purpose of the ITFC-UWA information sharing workshops. He informed the participants that this year’s workshop did not only mark the 6th time ITFC and UWA are hosting the ITFC-UWA information-sharing workshop, but also marked 24 years of ITFC, UWA and partners conservation oriented research efforts in the Albertine Rift region.
Indeed, Mr. John Justice Tibesigwa, the acting BMCA Conservation Area Manager attributed the prestigious back-to-back Certificates of Excellence awarded to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Bwindi) by the Trip Advisor in the recent years to this long-term partnership between UWA, ITFC and partners. Mr. Tibesigwa emphasized the importance of continued research partnership between UWA and ITFC, not only for biodiversity conservation, but also for livelihood improvement in the BMCA.
The workshop concluded with the raising of a motion under the advice of Prof. Obua to make ITFC a center for academic excellence in the region on biodiversity conservation and research. The motion was seconded by 100% of the workshop participants.
We have posted more information, presentations and photos on the ITFC-UWA information-sharingworkshop here http://itfc.muct.ac.ug
From the trails and canopies of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, we wish you a happy festive season and prosperous New Year.
Emmanuel, Badru and Julius on behalf of ITFC and Bwindi researchers :-).