Uganda signs Memorandum of Understanding with Ramsar Convention
Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands at a ceremony on 30 October, to host the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP9) in Ka...
Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands at a ceremony on 30 October, to host the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP9) in Kampala in late 2005. The offer, which is a highly significant commitment for Uganda, is the first time that the global Convention on Wetlands has come to Africa for its triennial meeting of its Parties, now numbering 138 countries. The ceremony was held during a Reception hosted by Wetlands International and the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington D.C. Wetlands International's President, Max Finlayson invited the Ramsar Convention's Secretary General, Peter Bridgewater and the Uganda National Coordinator for CoP9, Paul Mafabi to sign the Memorandum. As the first country in Africa to develop a national wetland policy, and with over 14 years’ practical experience of learning from community based wetland management, Uganda has a leading role in showing how wise use and conservation of wetlands is achievable in the demanding context of Africa. Uganda has demonstrated how sustainable support for people's livelihoods can go hand in hand with conservation of the biodiversity of these supremely rich areas. The Ramsar Convention's mission is "the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world". Uganda joined the Convention in 1988, and has since then, in partnership with several Contracting Parties and international organisations, developed effective and transferable strategies and tools to enable other African countries to benefit from Uganda's experience. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, with 138 Contracting Parties, and 1314 wetland sites, totalling 111 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, is the first of the global environmental Conventions and was signed in Ramsar, Iran in February 1971.