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Govt, TotalEnergies enter pact to conserve environment

TotalEnergies EP Uganda (TEPU) has formalised a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) to spearhead wetland and riparian vegetation conservation efforts within the Tilenga Project area.

In a press release dated November 7, the multi-year collaboration signals the commencement of a partnership focused on executing diverse activities in conjunction with various stakeholders.

“These initiatives aim to safeguard and rejuvenate wetlands in the ecologically vital Albertine Rift Region,” the French firm said.

“The wetland ecosystems in this area are crucial habitats for diverse flora and fauna, playing a pivotal role in local and regional climate regulation, water purification, and maintaining water tables.”

Mariam Nampeera Mbowa, Deputy General Manager of TotalEnergies EP Uganda, emphasised the integral role of conserving biodiversity in the Albertine Region within the Tilenga Project in Buliisa district in western Uganda.

She affirmed the commitment to achieving positive outcomes for both biodiversity and host communities.

The initiative will concentrate on collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Water and Environment and local communities to restore degraded wetland areas, enhance freshwater quality, and promote wise use principles.

The MoU outlines key areas of collaboration, including the development of wetland management plans, community engagement, wetland education, demarcation and restoration, and water quality monitoring.

The Tilenga Biodiversity Programme, a component of this partnership, aims to secure vital wetland areas and restore 500 hectares of degraded wetlands along Lake Albert’s north-western escarpment.

Alfred Okot Okidi, Permanent Secretary of MWE, underscored the vulnerability of wetlands as ecosystems and emphasized their swift recovery under effective restoration.

He highlighted the crucial role of communities in finding sustainable solutions and ensuring the longevity of restoration efforts.

Okidi acknowledged the delicate balance required in development, emphasizing the need for aligning the interests of policy makers, communities, and developers.

TotalEnergies EP Uganda, executing the Tilenga project in the biodiverse Albertine Rift Valley, collaborates with state and non-state institutions, conservation organizations, and local communities.

The Tilenga Biodiversity Program aims to conserve forests, rangelands, and wetlands, with specific projects targeting the Bugoma-Budongo forest corridor, Murchison Falls, Bugungu protected areas, wetlands on Lake Albert’s shores, and the Albert Delta Ramsar site.

The overarching goal is to alleviate human pressure, protect the integrity and connectivity of savanna habitats, and provide environmental awareness to communities in these crucial areas.         

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