5 thoughts on “After Mabira, corporate threat to Ugandan Nile islands nature

  1. Uganda: Maathai Pleads for Forests

    New Vision (Kampala)

    17 May 2007
    Posted to the web 18 May 2007

    Harriette Onyalla

    KENYAN Nobel prize winner and environmental activist, Prof. Wangari Maathai, has cautioned African leaders against destroying forests for short term economic gains.

    Maathai told delegates at the 82nd Rotary District 9200 conference yesterday at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala that desertification could undermine the economic gains Africa has made and keep the continent in a vicious cycle of poverty.

    Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace prize in 2004, was speaking via a video link from Nairobi, Kenya having failed to travel to Uganda due to ill health.

    She warned that the Sahara Desert was rapidly spreading to East and Central Africa while the Kalahari Desert was claiming former green belts and this may turn the continent into a desert.

    “While trees and the environment can thrive without human beings, we cannot do without trees. So protect our environment especially forests,” the environmentalist said amidst chants of ‘Mabira’ from the over 1,000 delegates.

    There were demonstrations in Kampala over the proposed give-away of part of Mabira Forest to a sugar producer.

    Maathai called on African governments to show more commitment to protecting forests because trees absorp greenhouse gases and warned that Africa could become the worst hit by the current climatic changes.

    She thanked the British government for supporting efforts to safeguard forest ecosystems especially in the Congo Basin and requested every family to plant trees.

    The Nabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda, said Buganda kingdom will establish a balance between economic progress and environmental protection.

    “Environmental protection and economic progress must go hand in hand because economic progress cannot be sustained if environmental protection is not taken into account.” The meeting was held under the theme ‘our environment – our future’.

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