Recognition of prominent women who have exhibited exemplary leadership in the conservation field was among the key highlights of the celebrations to mark 50 years of Kidepo Valley National Park on 22nd August,2013 at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
The recognized women got plaques and cash prizes. According to UWA Chief Executive Dr. Andrew Seguya, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has deliberately gone out to target and build the professional skills of women. This was after the realization that natural resource management and conservation requires women’s participation and empowerment to mitigate threats to biodiversity.
USAID / Uganda Tourism for Biodiversity Program implemented by African Wildlife Foundation in partnership with Uganda Wildlife Authority accordingly launched a ‘Women in Conservation Leadership Program’ to celebrate and recognize outstanding women involved in conservation and wildlife fields in Uganda.
The recognized ladies included Dr. Margaret Driciru, a veterinarian and senior Monitoring and Research warden for Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ms Norah Kazigati Mbubi a community conservation ranger in Kibale National Park, Ms Maureen Arabuuza, the head ranger for Lake Mburo National Park who has worked in conservation for 13 years, Ms Olivia Biira who boasts of 14 years experience in conservation and is currently the Community conservation warden for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Ms Janet Okwel a senior guide in Murchison Falls National Park who has worked in conservation for the last 17 years.
Others are Ms Lillian Nsubuga (RIP) who served as UWA’s Public Relations Manager since 2004-2013. She was appreciated for her excellent performance and team work during the LCA Council meeting and breakfast meeting held at Serena Hotel, and described as having been a role model to the rest of the employees. She greatly exhibited a spirit of teamwork, personal commitment and determination which raised the profile of the organization and what it stands for to international heights.
Ms Margaret Kasumba a senior warden legal, currently on an exchange program in Tanzania was also recognized for exemplary leadership. She largely concentrates on prosecution of wildlife crime and has worked for UWA since 2004.
Ms Justine Namara,a Senior Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment Officer with 10 years of experience in management planning for protected areas. Her work ensures that all areas of wildlife are analyzed and protected in ways that meet international environmental standards by conducting compliance monitoring for designed plans. Ms Pamela Anying has been in UWA for 13 years and is currently a senior warden for Forest Restoration in Mount Elgon National Park. She holds a degree in Botany and Zoology.
Ms Agnes Nakidde is a Tourism Warden in Mount Elgon National Park. As a mother and a wife, she balances conservation of wildlife with her domestic responsibilities. Having worked in conservation for 12 years, Agnes says her job gives her opportunity to meet and interact with different people who come as tourists and end up as good friends.
Outside UWA, the following prominent women were recognized
DR.GLADYS KALEMA-ZIKUSOKA the founder of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) in 2003 with Lawrence Zikusoka, Director of ICT for Development and her husband of 12 years. She has been working with conservation for 17 years. But her passion for conservation began back in 1988 when she revived a Wildlife Club at Kibuli Secondary School as the Chairperson. She is currently a member, UWA Board of Trustees.
Ms . LILLY AJAROVA, who graduatedfromMakerere University and then pursued a postgraduate diploma in International Tourism Management from Vienna in 1996, Austria. Today, she boasts of a rich ten years plus’ experience in tourism development and environmental management. Her eight year term at UWA saw her serve in various senior management capacities, including public relations manager, marketing manager, and tourism development manager.
PAULINE NANTONGO: Is the Executive Director of Ecotrust - the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda, which she joined in 2006. She has over 15 years of experience in Natural Resources Management in managing conservation financing mechanisms, land trust, community based conservation initiatives, communication and building partnerships for conservation.
Dr. DIANH NALWANGA: She is a Conservation Biologist, with a Masters on Science in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She got her PhD in 2012 in Biodiversity Conservation. She loves birds, butterflies, mammals and plants. She is one of the few scientific ornithologists in the country.
HELLEN LUBOWA: For 19 years, she has worked in the conservation and community development, in almost all parts of Uganda. She studied natural resource management and through her work, developed a great passion in conservation.
Detailed profiles can be found at the Uganda Wildlife Authority website