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Excitement as conservationists get ready for maiden Primatological summit in Kampala

Uganda has 15 species of primates of which four of them are endangered, the mountain gorilla, chimpanzee, red colobus monkey, and golden monkey. (PHOTO/File)

ENTEBBE — On the second day of September, Uganda will host the second biennial African Primatological Society (APS) conference in Entebbe.

The weeklong conference will take place at the Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda and it is expected to feature primatologists from 22 countries from across Africa and the rest of the globe.

The much-anticipated conference will run under the theme: Primate Conservation in Africa, Challenges and Opportunities.

It has been organized by the African Primatological Society (APS) an affiliate to the International Primatological Society, Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) and partner conservation NGOs and government agencies based in Uganda, with support from the APS executive committee, Conservation International and the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques, Côte d’Ivoire.

According to organizers, the conference aims to promote greater involvement of African stakeholders in research and conservation of African primates.

APS has confirmed that primate researchers and conservation managers will present on various abstracts under the key conference subthemes in African Primatology including ecology, ethology, systematics, taxonomy, distribution, and epidemiology.

Others include anthropology, human-primate interactions, conflicts, education, conservation, disease, human-primate health, and ecotourism.

A recent assessment of the current status of African primates recognized many more critical species as threatened and endangered and that this has further emphasized the need for stakeholders to increase their level of involvement and commitment, particularly, native Africans who should be at the forefront of conserving the continent’s biodiversity.

Since 2012, efforts have been made to establish a group that will coordinate the efforts of African primatologists, enhance influence in their various project areas and strengthen the impact of their conservation actions.

These efforts culminated in the formation of the APS in April 2016 with the objective of creating a platform for networking, coordination of research information and improving conservation efforts through training and capacity building.

To accomplish these objectives, the APS held the inaugural meeting in Bingerville, Côte d’Ivoire in July 2017,  to lay a solid foundation for the group and position its executive officials to carry out its duties and undertake the activities needed to realize its mission.

The 1st conference held in Bingerville, Cote d’Ivoire brought together over 150 primatologists from 22 countries from across Africa and the rest of the globe.

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