Conservationists from various groups have come out to condemn a recent court decision to turn Bugoma Forest into a sugar plantation.
These yesterday, launched a campaign dubbed “Save Bugoma Forest” at Hotel Africana in Kampala
Bugoma Forest is home to more than 500 chimpanzees, 201 bird species and a rare primate species called Ugandan Mangabeys.
Recently however, the National Forest Authority lost to a case to a sugar company named Hoima Sugar Works that intends to destroy 22 square miles of the forest for sugar cane growing.
According to Benedict Ntale, the Vice Chairperson of Association of Uganda Tour Operators, the decision is not only a threat to environmental eco system, it also endangers species like chimpanzees and also hurts the tourism activities which are a source of revenue to the country.
“Sugarcane development should never happen at the expense of natural resources because if that forest goes we expect the area to lose patterns of weather as well as revenue from tourism” Ntale said.
The 2012 Chimpanzee census discovered that 10 percent of Uganda’s Chimpanzee population was in Bugoma forest.
Edson Hashaka from Uganda Scouts Movement warned during a press address, “If we do not stop such acts there will be more cases of human wildlife conflicts all because humans are taking over homes of wild animals”.
The conservationists vowed to appeal the ruling by the high court and engage parliament as well as the Ministries to halt the exercise.