There are about 400,000 elephants left in Africa and about 40,000 elephants are poached every year.
WILDLIFE | TOURISM
Uganda could lose up to 10% of its GDP if it does not control poaching of wild animals within and outside protected areas, according to Dr. Andrew Seguya, the executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
This is because the country depends on wildlife based tourism and that tourists support many sectors including transport, hotels and agriculture, according to Seguya.
"When tourists get into the country they hire cars to Kampala, sleep in a hotel and they eat food and when they go to tracking gorillas they also spend on crafts," said Seguya, adding that all this is money going into different sectors of the economy.
However, wildlife is facing many threats including poaching particularly elephants, rhinos and pangolin scales.
"There are about 400,000 elephants left in Africa and about 40,000 elephants are poached every year," said Seguya, adding that this means that Africa will have no elephants in the coming 10 years.
UWA's top boss said Uganda's population currently estimated at 5,000 is still safe and that most of the ivory confiscated in Uganda comes from outside the country.
He was speaking at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala during a meeting for editors and senor reporters from different media houses. This was organized ahead of a mass awareness campaign to be rolled out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in partnership with international organization Wild Aid and Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) later this year.
The campaign dubbed "poaching steals from us all" is pegged on a mix of local and international celebrity ambassadors like Anne Kansiime, the Ugandan Cranes national football team and several others expected to appeal to the public to stop poaching.
This will be done be rolled out in several Ugandan languages in the form of TV documentaries and shorts, public service announcements, billboards, social media, events and other outreach aimed at instilling sense of pride in wildlife heritage of the country and desire to protect it.
"As the media is a key element in spreading awareness about wildlife related issues, we would love to share with you the editors' information, discuss the challenges and necessity of making wildlife stories a core part of your coverage."
Michael Keigwin is the founding trustee of UCF and a director of UCU, Lieutenant General Ivan Koreta, the chairperson of UCF and Tara Kilachand, Africa program manager addressed the editors.