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Uganda pioneers new conservation investment

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President Museveni will on October 6, 2017 host the first Giants Club Conservation and Tourism Investment Forum in Kampala to showcase a series of opportunities for new conservation-compatible enterprises in both established and under-developed wilderness areas, a press release from Giants Club Uganda says. The one-day high level forum will take place at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa.

During the forum, global businesses with focus on responsible tourism and conservation will be offered a unique chance to invest in Uganda’s unparalleled natural landscapes while bringing greater benefits to its citizens.

New tourism concessions are available in well-known locations like Queen Elizabeth and
Murchison Falls National Parks, as well as lesser-visited ones like Kibaale, with its
chimpanzees, or Kidepo Valley, on Uganda’s northern border.
All conservation-compatible business proposals will be considered, but it is expected the
majority will be new high-end or eco-tourism lodges whose developers pass strict Ugandan
government guidelines overseen by conservation specialists.

Central to those stipulations are that successful bidders will sustainably protect the natural
areas where they invest, and bring significant economic benefits to their local communities,
and to Uganda as a whole.

Other protected areas, including Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and Budongo Forest
Reserve, that need infrastructure or development to realise their enormous potential will be
offered as co-management opportunities, where Public Private Partnerships will attract
new international finance.
Many concession areas will not have been available for new investors for more than 30
years. What is also new is a conservation investment delivery unit supported by the Office
of the President and housed at the Uganda Investment Authority, where interested
businesses will find streamlined and centralised bureaucracy to speed their applications.

At the same time, significant incentives will be outlined at the Forum to illustrate the
Government’s commitment to welcoming the most responsible partners to take advantage
of this rare opportunity.

Uganda is one of Africa’s last great undiscovered destinations for today’s modern traveller
looking for a more adventurous tourism experience than that traditionally offered in the
regional market.

The country lies at the intersection of East Africa’s savannahs and Central Africa’s
rainforests. It hosts the Big Five, but also the world’s greatest variety and density of wild
primates and some of the most varied bird life. The River Nile flows from its Lake Victoria
shores, and Equatorial glaciers top its western mountains.

The Ugandan Government faces severe difficulties adequately funding the maintenance of
its protected natural areas among competing social and economic priorities.

In that climate, it is imperative that businesses that come to these pristine landscapes
should be chosen not because they bring the most immediate short-term financial gain at
potentially great ecological cost, but because they can prove they will maintain their
investment sustainably and responsibly over the long term.

Among those expected to attend are tourism operators, commercial and impact investors,
philanthropic and conservation organisations, development finance institutions, high net
worth individuals, and sector specialists and journalists.

President Museveni called for ideas of how to increase public-private partnerships to fund
Uganda’s conservation when he attended the Giants Club Summit in Kenya in 2016. The
Forum is the answer to that request.

The Giants Club, of which President Museveni is one of four founding Presidents, gathers
African heads of state, global financiers, scientists, and influential individuals, to help
achieve its mission to protect half of Africa’s elephants by 2020.

The forum is sponsored by the government of Uganda alongside African Wildlife Foundation, Space for Giants, UNDP.

 

 

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