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Taxonomy Capacity Needs Assessment In Uganda

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Brief insight of the Report

Taxonomy may seem a very difficult to many but it is actually a very simple term. Taxonomy is basically the science of discovering, describing, naming and classifying living things (both plants and animals) for us to better understand them better. The people carry out taxonomy work are called taxonomists. Thus taxonomists help us to know the plants and animals around us, their importance and the status and trends of biodiversity.

Bearing in mind the fact the importance of biodiversity to us and need to have reliable information on the status and trends of biodiversity time to inform decision making, a study on taxonomy capacity needs assessment was carried out to produce this report taxonomy capacity needs for Uganda. The report has identified capacity gaps in taxonomy in Uganda. The report shows that there is limited capacity in terms of personnel, tools and infrastructural for developing and utilizing taxonomic information in Uganda. A major weakness is the lack of specific job offers for taxonomists.

The report is presented in eight chapters that address the specific tasks and in some cases present a combined synthesis. Chapter one provides a general introduction which defines and makes the case for taxonomy and its relevance to national development.

Chapter Two outlines the objectives of the present review of taxonomy needs for Uganda and details the methods used to collect the information used for this report. Chapter Three presents a review of the Global Taxonomic Initiative and its implementation in Uganda. Chapter Four details the taxonomic capacity needs for Uganda. Chapter Five, presents a review of the capacities of training institutions for developing taxonomy expertise for the country. Chapter Six presents the identified needs and priorities of taxonomy information end users

Chapter Seven highlights the priority areas for development of taxonomy capacity for Uganda.

This report shows that there is limited capacity (personnel, tools and infrastructural) for developing and utilizing taxonomic information.

A major weakness is the lack of specific job offers for taxonomists or at the very least, a requirement for taxonomy expertise in the job descriptions of taxonomy related positions. This means that any such capacity trained, if not retained therein, is lost as the  taxonomists seek other non-taxonomic jobs.

The key recommendations are:


1. The CBD, the government, through the relevant institutions, should recognize and enable the development and retention of taxonomy capacity. Government agencies such as UWA, NEMA, NARO, Wetlands Management Department and Customs Department should explore opportunities to create positions for, and retain taxonomists with job descriptions specifically stipulating taxonomic skills.


2. Taxonomic knowledge bases should be developed for biodiversity in formats that are accessible to end users. Such information can be used for national planning, prioritization; conservation action; and investment for trade, food security, health and economics.


3. User friendly taxonomic tools should be developed such that technical information is packaged in formats that are appropriate for end users for example in agriculture, bio-trade can be greatly enhanced if international treaties and conventions, and national regulations on trade in biodiversity are simplified for local traders.


4. Taxonomic institutions, such as research institutes, universities and museums which hold representative natural history collections with valuable information should be funded, to increase personnel and improve infrastructure) to make the information they hold directly available to the end users.


5. Concerted efforts should be made to create awareness of the need for application of taxonomic information in many production sectors of the country such as agriculture, trade, and health, as well as development and regulatory agencies and local communities. These have a lot to gain from utilization of taxonomic information.


6. Lead Institutions in Taxonomy in Uganda (i.e. Makerere University Herbarium and Zoological Museum) should work towards setting up a taxonomic fund for Uganda in line with the Global Taxonomy fund which was set under the GTI of CBD to enable member countries establish Centers of Taxonomic excellence.


7. Taxonomy should be taught in subjects related to natural sciences in primary and middle schools throughout Uganda to increase public awareness. The universities and colleges should consider the training of taxonomists a priority by including taxonomy as a basic course. Academic institutions should admit graduate/post graduate students and candidates to major in taxonomic studies, and send them overseas to study taxonomy in taxa where the country lacks skills.


8. NEMA should make it a requirement that EIA teams should include persons with taxonomic expertise for the proper determination of taxa that are likely to be impacted. This should enable stakeholders make informed decisions regarding the taxa.


The above recommendations, if implemented, will help Uganda address the low level of recognition of the importance and use of the available taxonomy expertise as well as move towards developing more capacity.

Full Document to be uploaded after it is published

Kidepo critical Landscape

Kidepo critical Landscape

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have given financial support of USD$3.08m to the government of Uganda to fund the conservation of Kidepo Valley National Park. The conservation projects in the park will be implemented by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in collaboration with the Uganda Wildlife Authority.


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