On this 13th January 2016, at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, in Entebbe- Uganda, experts from Governmental institutions, Conservations International Non-Government Organizations, Academic institutions and GVTC met for a two days’ workshop aiming at designing data protocols for measure of success of conservation of Greater Virunga Landscape.
The main purpose of the workshop is to develop a range of key indicators and targets for the measure of improved conservation of Greater Virunga Landscape which will be monitored through an annual conservation status report. Specifically, the participants of the workshop will develop a data protocol: which data to collect, how it will be collected, analysed, how information generated will be shared, etc in order to measure improved conservation and inclusive growth in Greater Virunga Landscape. It is also intended to ensure buy in and ownership of the annual conservation status report by the key stakeholders in conservation of Greater Virunga Landscape.
Dr Muamba Tshibasu Georges, Executive Secretary of GVTC, during his opening remarks, recalled the signing of GVTC Treaty signing in four months ago to legalize formally the collaboration of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda which was informal from 1990s. He added that the Transboundary Strategic Plan is an essential tool for implementations of conservation and sustainable development actions in the Greater Virunga Landscape considered as one of the cradle of the mega biodiversity of Africa.
As GVTC is accountable of delivering reports in front of the 3 States, stakeholders and funding bodies, it is in this respect that a conservation status report is mandatory in order to evaluate our efforts and maintain the state of biodiversity and ecosystems on one hand and ensure qualitative ecological services and its accessibility by different communities.
The development of indicators is important for GVTC, in order to be able to keep monitor the changes in biodiversity evolution and ecosystem as well as the socio economic and cultural aspects of the population in the Greater Virunga Landscape.
For Mr Edgar Buhanga, Deputy Director of planning at Uganda Wildlife Authority, who was representing Dr Andrew Seguya, Executive Director of UWA, while officially opening the workshop, he recalled that the collaboration in the conservation activities is very paramount and added that apart the GVTC Treaty recently signed by the 3 Governments, the Transboundary Collaboration is further buttressed by the following legally binding instruments signed and ratified by the respective states:(1)The Convention on Biological Diversity;(2)The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna;(3)The Convention on the conservation of Migratory Species;(4)The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;(5)The Pact on Security, Stability & Development in the Great Lakes Region;(6)The Agreement Establishing a Permanent Joint Cooperation Commission between Uganda and Rwanda;(7)The Ngurdoto Agreement on cooperation between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo;(8)The Agreement Establishing a Permanent Joint cooperation commission between Uganda and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo)
These instruments oblige the state parties to take steps including Policy, legislation and cooperation aimed at ensuring compliance and implementation of the instruments.
He reiterated that at UWA they fully support the efforts of the GVTC Secretariat to come up with initiatives aiming at further fostering better conservation approaches within the region.
After the opening remarks, the workshop focussed on the following presentations: GVTC and its scope, by Mr James Byamukama, the programs Manager of GVTC, Indicators development, by Dr. Kadi Warner, Regional Advisor on Climate Change at the Dutch Embassy in Kampala, and other presentation from various experts to better understand the process of indicators development.
An exercise of indicators development which is to be completed by the participants at the end of this two days’ workshop has started and the final results are expected after the plenary session on January 14th 2016.
GVTC Communication Service.