Ramsar visit to Uganda to view COP9 preparations

Ramsar visit to Uganda to view COP9 preparations

4 September 2004

Dr. Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, arrives in Uganda, 2 September 2004

Preparations for Uganda to host the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands are well underway.

As part of the preparations for this important Conference, the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, Dr Peter Bridgewater, is visiting Uganda from 2-3 September 2004 to discuss with the Government and other stakeholders the organisation of COP9.

He was met on arrival at the airport by the Hon. Col. Kahinda Otafiire, Minister for Water, Lands and Environment. Others present to receive the Secretary General included the Director for Lands and Environment, Mr. Kintu Mubbala, and the Assistant Commissioner for Wetlands and COP9 Coordinator, Mr. Paul Mafabi.

During the press conference on arrival at the airport, the Secretary General observed that he is in the country to follow up on the COP9 preparatory process and hold discussions with government officials, NGOs, donors and other stakeholders on the progress made since his last visit to the country in March 2004.

The Hon Minister reiterated the government's commitment to hosting a memorable conference of parties and highlighted the steps taken by government to ensure sustainable use of wetland resources. The Secretary General praised Uganda's approach to wetland conservation and use, and underlined that this was a key reason for the choice of Uganda as host for the COP.

After this, the Secretary General attended the launch of the State of the Environment report for Uganda for 2002. This launch was performed by the Minister for General Duties in the Prime Minister's Office, Hon. Mondo Kagonyera, who presented the report to the Secretary General. The Minister for Environment, Lt. Gen. Odongo Jeje, was also present at the launch. Minister Odongo will be briefed today by the Secretary General on the results of the discussions he is having over Thursday and Friday. Meetings are also being held with the Ambassadors of Norway and the Netherlands, as well as key NGOs.

H.E. Minister Col. Kahinda Otafiire and Secretary General Peter Bridgewater