Biodiversity Monitoring in Uganda: assessment of Monitoring Programs Report
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Countries that are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including Uganda, are obliged to monitor biodiversity (Article 7.b) but many have yet to establish national monitoring programmes. Many animal and plant species have declined in numbers, geographical spread, or both but quantitative monitoring data are not readily available. Human activity has increased the extinction rate of species worldwide by at least 100 times compared to the natural rate. The main factors directly driving biodiversity loss include, but are not limited to, habitat loss, fragmentation of forests, invasive alien species, overexploitation, pollution and climate change. Biodiversity monitoring data coupled with other environmental data form an important basis for future nature conservation policy and for other policy areas that have a significant impact on biodiversity for example; forestry, agriculture, and wildlife. Biodiversity monitoring can be used to identify negative and positive impacts on biodiversity at an early stage and trigger appropriate action. Distinguishing natural fluctuations from abnormal changes and identifying cause-andeffect relationships between external factors and changes in biodiversity is an important outcome of monitoring. The unique global status of Uganda in terms of biodiversity necessitates that it is properly managed to prevent unprecedented losses. Uganda has a unique occurrence and distribution of biodiversity, attributed to the country’s location within the equatorial belt and the associated physical and climatic features as well as overlap of phytochoria. In Uganda, however, approximately 200 species of plants and animals are red-listed meaning that they are species of global importance for conservation and deserve special attention. However, Uganda lacks a biodiversity monitoring framework through which activities related to biodiversity can be harmonized, and information/data shared to prevent duplication and wastage of scarce resources. Uganda is also obliged to align its biodiversity management goals alongside the 2010 Biodiversity Target and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly Goal 7. The CBD recognizes that national participation towards meeting the 2010 Target must be informed and driven by national priorities, but these are unclear for Uganda.
- Natural Sciences