By Watchdog reporter

On July 14, Acting Mission Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Uganda, Jo Lesser-Oltheten, along with Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, Professor Ephraim Kamuntu, launched the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) Children’s Activity Book—a wildlife conservation education package designed to inspire young people to appreciate, conserve, and protect Uganda’s unique environment.

In her remarks, Ms. Lesser-Oltheten said, “By developing and disseminating educational materials like this Children’s Activity Book, we help raise awareness about the benefits of conservation—such as improving air and water quality, reducing the effects of climate change, and creating new economic opportunities.”

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The UWEC Children’s Activity Book was developed by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) under the USAID/Uganda Biodiversity Program—a five-year, $11.6 million activity that builds the capacity of conservation agencies to better manage biodiversity. The initiative also helps communities neighboring Protected Areas manage and benefit from biodiversity-related enterprises.  As a part of this activity, AWF is working with UWEC to raise awareness about biodiversity and improve conservation education for children so that they will conserve the country’s national heritage for the benefit of all Ugandans.

Sam Mwandah, Chief of Party of the USAID/Uganda Biodiversity Program explained, “The formative years of a child are important in shaping them for the future.  If we want them to be concerned about their environment, we better train them when they are still in schools, especially at primary level.”  UWEC Executive Director James Musinguzi added, “The Children’s Activity book provides a hands-on learning environment and will go a long way in helping children learn about wildlife in Uganda, grow to love them, and protect them in the future.”