Ecosystems

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Ecosystems
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Ecosystems - These are communities of plants and animals, together with physical characteristics of their environment(e.g geology, soil and climate) interlink together as an ecological system to 'ecosystem".

Ecosystem diversity is more difficult to measure because there are rarely clear boundaries between different ecosystems and they grade into one another., however, it consistency criteria are chosen to define the limits of an ecosystem, there their numbers and distributions can be measured. individual species and ecosystems have evolved over millions of years into a complex of interdependence and this brings in ecological arguments for conserving biodiversity which is therefore base don what we need to preserve biodiversity in order to maintain our own life support system. there are two main ways to conserve biodiversity. these are termed are ex situ (i.e out of the natural habitat and in situ (within the natural habitat).

In situ conservation maintain only the genetic diversity of species, but also the evolutionary adaptation that enable them to adapt continually to changing environmental conditions. In situ conservation measure involves mainly designating specific areas as protected sites/areas. protection may be offered at various levels fro complete protection and restriction of access. In situ conservation, sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are dependent upon properly maintaining sufficient quantity and quality of natural habitat. Protected areas, together with conservation, sustainable use and restoration initiatives in the wider land-and seascape are essential components in national and global biodiversity conservation strategies. They provide a range of goods and ecological services while preserving natural and cultural heritage.

 

Protected Areas can contribute to poverty alleviation by providing employment opportunities and livelihoods to people living in and around them. In addition, they also provide opportunities for research including for adaptive measures to cope with climate change, environmental education, recreation and tourism. As a result, most countries have developed a system of protected areas. The protected-area network now covers about 11 percent of Earth land surface. Given their many benefits, protected areas are important instruments for meeting the Convention targets of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss.

Uganda was one of the first countries in Africa, dating back in 1920s, to establish an elaborate system of Protected Areas (PAs) representing a wide range of ecological, biodiversity and climatic conditions; with a variety of species and ecosystems. Uganda network of Protected Areas include National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Community Wildlife Areas, Local and Central Forest Reserves distributed across the country.

A total of 735 forest and wildlife Protected Areas have been established covering 18% of the total land surface area of the country ranging from National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Forest reserves, wetlands and community wildlife management areas. In addition, there are 12 Ramsar Sites that have been designated under the jurisdiction of Wetland Management Department.. There are 34 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) which overlap with the 10 National Parks, 3 Wildlife Reserves, 12 Ramsar Sites and 506 Central Forest Reserves and include most of the great tourist attractions of the country making Uganda one of the most pristine areas with high potential as a tourist destination in Africa. A detailed wildlife protected Area systems Plan (WPASP) was adopted in 2002 and consequently Parliament rationalized the PAs in various Statutory Instruments under Section 17 of Wildlife Act Cap 200.