Building a nature-friendly community through public education

The Nile Basin Capacity Network (NBCNW) is currently executing a pilot initiative titled “Water Resources Management under Climate Change in Transboundary River Basins,” spanning from Jinja, Uganda, to Berullus Lake in Egypt along the River Nile. This collaborative effort involves various NBCNW members, including Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE) and Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.

Within the framework of this project, NatureUganda is partnering with Nature Conservation Egypt to conduct a project titled “From Jinja to Burullus Wetlands: Bridging between Ecotourism and Community Adaptation along the Nile.” This joint venture, with a particular emphasis on biodiversity, aims to establish a platform for education, raise awareness, and foster eco-tourism and conservation initiatives in both Uganda and Egypt.

NU-training-communities-in-use-of-binocularsTo promote bird conservation through ecotourism, NatureUganda organized a training session for local communities residing along the Nile in Jinja. The training, held on January 22, 2024, at the Bujagali community center in Bujagali Jinja, covered topics such as the importance of birds, basic bird identification techniques, and the proper use of bird identification equipment like binoculars, telescopes, and field guides. More than 40 community members, including fishermen, participated in the training.

Conducted by Mr. Michael Kibuule, a researcher at NatureUganda, the session included a fieldwork component where participants were able to identify various species of water birds. The identified species included Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Long-tailed Cormorant, Pied Kingfisher, and the Fish Eagle. The primary objective of this training was to involve local communities, emphasizing birdwatching and ecotourism as viable sources of income. The training equipped participants to appreciate the significance of birds, nurture their interest in birdwatching, and better understanding of the benefits of environmental protection.