If people had the knowledge of how important these animals are, there would be very little effort put into conserving them. This is why education and sensitization are very important aspects in nature conservation, said Mrs. Lillian Ajarova (in photo below), Executive Director, Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT). 

This was at a public talk organized to look into the issue of The Future of Great Apes in Uganda; Sustainable or on the verge of extinction?” held on Thursday, 8th September 2011 at the Uganda Museum. People from different institutions and communities participated in this discussion. Dr Panta Kasoma, Executive Director , Jane Goodall Institute chaired the public talk.

The great apes are gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos. They live in the wild in twenty-three countries in Africa and Asia. They are the closest relatives to humans. Human activities are the most serious threat to the great apes. Researchers say the two biggest problems are the destruction of forests and road building. A U-N report called "The Great Apes - the Road Ahead" examines the situation. Clearing forests makes it easier for hunters to find and kill apes.

Ms. Lillian Ajarova said one of the biggest problems both to human and to these animals is Health. The bushmeat trade increases the risk that infectious diseases will spread from apes to humans. The U-N report notes that chimpanzees and gorillas can get influenza, tuberculosis, measles, mumps, even the common cold. Mrs Ajarova also pointed out increasing human population as one of the threats to these animals. She mentioned that the future of apes like chimpanzees lies in the measures like the re-establishment of Wildlife Corridors, payment for Ecosystem Services since all animals depend on these services for survival. Please follow the link for her full presentation. 

Mr Stephen Asuma from the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) for the Gorilla conservation experience in Uganda, one of the presenters said the population of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda is increasing but the survival of these animals is threatened by poaching, diseases, habitat loss and degredation among others.

He said Gorillas are high value resources and that about $7 million is raised from Gorilla tourism. He recommended Increase community stake in conservation through related and dependant interventions, Review penalties for poaching, Strengthen relationship and collaboration with police, judiciary and media, Research into and routinely monitor their habitat and use information for adapting management as some of the measures to ensure the survival of Gorillas in Uganda. Click for full presentation.

NatureUganda would like to thank all its members for their participation and appeals to all members and non members to join in the appreciation and understanding of nature for its better conservation.

NatureUganda is the Birdlife International Partner and a member of IUCN