Much of Uganda’s national territory consists of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, swamps, whose fauna and flora provide a source of livelihood for many communities.
The ancestral dependence of such communities on the resources provided by water bodies has for long been founded on indigenous knowledge that has resulted in the sustainable management of the biodiversity offered by these water bodies.
However, such knowledge systems are currently under threat as population growth, climate change, the breakdown of cultural knowledge transmission mechanisms across generations and the drive for quick profits (such as through industrial fishing by “investors”) undermine the sustainability of the ecosystems concerned.
Research and documentation
In this light, CCFU with the support of the UNESCO regional office for Eastern Africa is documenting traditional knowledge systems and their role in the conservation of water bodies and aquatic life in Panyimur, Packwach district and Ssezibwa falls in Mukono.
The communities will be examined for the survival and current relevance of such knowledge and how bio diversity can be safeguarded. The case study will draw conclusions from
- Cultural knowledge and practices related to conserving fish stock and plant diversity in one fishing community along the Nile River/Lake Albert at Panyimur (West Nile Region).
- Biodiversity and the conservation of the cultural heritage site at Ssezibwa falls (Buganda Region), in the face of land pressure and the opportunities for tourism
CCFU’s work on culture and conservation
Over the years, CCFU has strengthened its efforts to in using culture for the conservation of natural and built heritage. With support from the Arcus Foundation, CCFU implemented a two years project that was concerned with the use of culture and community resources for the conservation of the great apes, specifically the chimpanzee in the Rwenzori and Bunyoro regions.
CCFU is also implementing a project that seeks to mitigate the impact of climate change on natural and cultural heritage sites in Rwenzori and Alur regions with a specific focus on melting snow and flooding rivers.