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Gov’t pledges to boost internet connection in national parks

The Minister of ICT and National Guidance Hon Chris Baryomunsi has called for increased partnerships between the government and NGOs working in wildlife conservation, to find ways of boosting the use of of modern technology in this field.

Chris Baryomunsi

The Minister on Thursday expressed the government’s commitment to invest in the expansion of infrastructure such as internet connection in the protected areas around the country.

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We are ready to work with you to explore the opportunities available to take conservation forward and how to harness digital innovations,” said the minister.

We now want to start discussing how to extend networks to the parks because tourists need the connection, but there is a debate about how disruptive that kind of infrastructure will be to the animals.”

Hon Baryomunsi was speaking as chief guest at the National Wildlife Conservation Conference organised in Kampala by the World Wide Fund for Nature Uganda (WWF), ahead of World Wildlife Day which will be commemorated on the 3rd, March 2024.

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The minister emphasized the need for players in wildlife conservation to adapt quickly to modern technologies to address the fast-emerging challenges posed by Uganda’s exploding population

We have artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet of things. You people in conservation, you cannot run away from technology. You must integrate technology to be efficient and get results.

On his part, Daniel Ndizihiwe WWF the Manager for Wildlife and Protected Areas at WWF also highlighted the need for close collaboration between NGOs and the government to drive technological advancement in conservation,

WWF has been using modern tech such as the use of drones in the Rwenzori mountains, which have enabled the Uganda Wildlife Authority to map out the glaciers and document some of the endangered species that were previously not monitored.

We are trying to demonstrate these technologies and what they can do, to win the will of the government,” he said.

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Philip Kihumuro, Manager of Forest Restoration and Carbon Absorption Projects, revealed that they are also using these technologies to preserve wildlife habitats by for instance tracking down deforestation.

Right now we are using satellite and we are doing modelling to determine where deforestation is happening and where we need to put restoration emphasis,” he said

The United Nations World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in Kyenjojo District and President Yoweri Museveni is expected as chief guest.

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