UGANDAN chameleons are in high demand as pets in Europe. Business people in Bunyoro and Kigezi are exploiting the trade according to a study commissioned by the Uganda Export Promotion Board and UNCTAD. The study revealed that there is substantial informal trade in pets.
informal trade in pet animals in the two regions.
Nelson Omago, a consultant and leader of the team that conducted the study released the results in Masindi on Thursday. He said the chameleons were kept for their beauty in Europe.
â€œThese are some of the forest and wetlands products where there is a high level of informal trade,â€ he said at Alinda Guest House. A cross section of the business community and development partners attended the workshop.
Susan Bingi, the Uganda Bio-Trade national programme co-ordinator said several other products were being harvested on grasslands and open water. She warned of depletion if emergency measures were not taken to ensure sustainable harvesting.
Opening the one-day workshop, the district vice chairman Solomon Kaahwa said the country was well endowed with natural resources. He called for sustainable use to create wealth.
A seven member regional committee headed by Keith Bitamazire was formed to link the Bio-Trade programme with districts. The programme is funded by the Norwegian government.
The district assistant chief administrative officer Jack Byaruhanga while closing the workshop said the government had made deliberate efforts to sustain the environment.
He said some districts had built capacity but trade was still very low. He said this was a challenge to development, urging stakeholders to intensify the fight against poverty.
Chameleons On Demand