KAMPALA — Buganda Kingdom and the World Wide Fund for Nature Uganda have launched an environment training manual that seeks to bolster conservation works within the Kingdom.
The conservation manual is also translated into Luganda, a language of the biggest ethnic group in central Uganda that’s also spoken in parts across the country.
Buganda Kingdom Prime Minister (Kitikkiro) Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga launched the manual on Thursday, April 27 at the Buganda Kinghdom’s Kyadondo Sub County headquarters in Gombe, Wakiso District.
Kitikkiro Mayiga called for joint efforts in environmental protection to ensure sustainable development countrywide and pledged Buganda would continue to make its contribution.
He said the Buganda Kingdom, where he has been a Prime Minister for over 10 years has over the years been beautiful with waters, forests, and wild animals and said Buganda attaches great importance to environmental protection and firmly committed itself to conserve it.
“The people of Buganda are highly dependent on the Environment and Natural Resources. Our culture associates and attaches taboos to activities that degrade the environment such as overfishing, clear-felling of forests, disrespect for non-wood forest products, and overhunting. The Baganda through their Bika (clans) and respect for emiziro (totems) in effect reduced high consumption thereby enabling their survival and conservation. Symbols of these totems are erected along the Royal Mile from the Palace to Bulange – the seat of Buganda’s Government for the public to appreciate our values. On close scrutiny, these practices are no longer effective in conserving our environment optimally due to population increase, unplanned urbanization, adoption of negative cultures, lack of coherent information, deviant attitudes, unsustainable livelihoods, and low environmental literacy,” Katikiro Mayiga said, noting that the manual is one of Buganda’s attempts to equip stakeholders with environment management knowledge, skills and ‘Bulungibwansi’.
Bulungibwansi means community service and it is one of the Kiganda traditions aimed at encouraging voluntary community involvement in keeping the environment clean.
However, with time, the tradition has been fading away.
“The manual is useful for trainers to integrate environmental and Bulungibwansi solutions for communities in consideration to adopting them. This fits well within the Ministry’s goal of promoting the environment and natural resources management,” Owek. Mayiga said also adding that the Training Manual relates to environmental challenges in Buganda with methodologies and tools raising competence among Buganda Government Institutions, Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, the Private Sector, and communities in the Kingdom of Buganda.
“The Kingdom of Buganda is committed to pursuing a good environment and natural resources through training in collaboration with stakeholders. We strongly hope future publications will address issues that may arise, but at the same time focus on specific prioritized training needs,” the Katikiro pledged, encouraging Kingdom subjects to use the Training Manual and take it as a reliable source of Environment and Natural Resources information in the Kingdom of Buganda.
Katikkiro also awarded WWF for their supporting Buganda Kingdom conservation efforts.
Uganda’s natural environment has been deteriorating over the years but Katikkiro attributed the issue to increased human encroachment on illegal issuance of land titles in forests, charcoal burning, and large-scale conversion of natural forest land to agriculture.
For instance, the forest cover in the country has reduced to about 8% from over 24% in the 1990s.
Owek. Mariam Mayanja Nkalubo, the Minister for Agriculture, Lands, Environment, Bulungibwansi, Cooperatives, Trade and Marketing in Buganda Kingdom commended World Wide Fund for Nature for providing financial support for the preparation and production of the environment training manual.
Owek. Mayanja-Nkalubo said the training manual will increase environmental literacy at all community levels through empowering the people of Buganda to sustainably manage the Kingdom’s Environment and Natural Resources.
Ms. Agnete Schoneu, Chief Operating Officer at WWF Uganda Country Office commended Buganda Kingdom for stressing conversation in all her development work.
Ms. Schoneu said that WWF Uganda working with its partners has supported several efforts to ensure the inputs into policy reviews and legislations.
“WWF has long understood that people who live in the places we work are critical partners in conservation. Over time, our work with people has generated transformative social and environmental results,” she said, adding that some of WWF’s most important successes have come from this inclusive approach to conservation, by finding practical and beneficial ways for people and nature to thrive together.
Ms. Schoneu said that whereas the Buganda Kingdom has its best to ensure environment conservation in the kingdom, “we believe a lot more can be done.”
She said the manual will be used from the highest to the lowest Kingdom structures to set nature recovery targets and mobilize the subjects to take action for nature recovery.
“With the unwavering Buganda spirit, we are almost sure these targets will be met and the Buganda Kingdom will be a model and inspiration to all Ugandans but also the world at large.”
She said that WWF chose the Buganda Kingdom because it provides a platform to reach not only a big number of people but also national coverage.
About the Buganda Kingdom environment training manual
The training manual is written in a very simplified language to target a wide range of audiences. The manual will be translated into Luganda so as to reach the wider public.
The training manual is targeting people who are unaware, half aware, and informed about the status of environmental and natural resources in Buganda, good practices, challenges, and how to manage them.
It will be used by all Leaders in the Kingdom of Buganda and the Local Governments. The manual will be used in Local Communities, Education Institutions,
Religious Communities and Civil Society Organizations among others.
The trainer shall allow time to analyze the sensitivity of the topic to both the targeted audience and the community.
How the Buganda Kingdom environment training manual will be used
The main focus of this training manual is to provide insight to the user on key environmental issues and concepts in the Kingdom. Careful consideration is given to the choices of several environmental issues the Kingdom is facing. The manual looks at these issues considering their importance and relevance but does not necessarily arrange them in order of importance.
Under the Forest Eco-system for example, a number of trees will be distributed amongst different parts of Buganda to ensure planting and conserving of trees. This will be done through the different Ssaza heads (Ab’amassaza). Each Ssaza will be encouraged to have a Kabaka’s forest at her headquarters. Each Ggombolola under a particular Ssaza will also need to have a Ggombolola forest supervised by the Ggombolola chief.
Below each Ggombolola are parishes, each of which will also have a Kabaka’s forest supervised by Ow’omuluka. From that level, each Butongole under a given Parish will need to have a Kabaka’s forest supervised by Omutongole. Each executive member at every level from Ssaza, down to Butongole will need to have at least one tree for the Kabaka to serve as an example to the rest of the other people in the society.
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