Nine Ugandan Wetlands get International Recognition

2235 Views Kampala, Uganda
Uganda has added nine wetlands to the List of Wetlands of International Importance designated under the Ramsar Convention. This brings the national total to 11 sites covering 354,000 hectares. The Convention on Wetlands was signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. It is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. A press statement announcing the development lists the nine newly designated sites as Lake Bisina, Lake Mburo, Lake Nakuwa and Lake Opeta. Others are Lutembe Bay, Mabamba Bay, Murchison Falls Delta, Sango Bay and Musambwa Island. According to information from Nature Uganda, Lake Opeta is home to the Fox Weaver, Uganda's only widespread bird species. Up to 1.5 million migrant White-winged Black Terns visit Lutembe Bay every year. Achilles Byaruhanga, the Executive Director of Nature Uganda welcomed the news of the new Ramsar sites as a wonderful step for conservation in East Africa. He said that although the sites are recognized Important Bird Areas, they are also vital habitat for other threatened plants and animals. Byaruhanga said Lake Bisana and Lake Opeta located in eastern Uganda near Lake Kyoga are refuges for fish species which have disappeared from the main Ugandan lakes.