Uganda’s natural resource companies are beginning to receive recognition for their efforts to balance economic growth with conservation of the country’s rich natural heritage. This is a positive development, as striking the right balance between economic activity and conservation is crucial to the long-term future of the country that is well known world over as ‘pearl of Africa.’ In recent years, many of these companies have clashed with environmental groups, with both sides losing the public’s trust. Growth has had a positive impact on the economy and in raising income levels, especially in poorer areas. The nascent oil industry is directly expected to benefit nearly 200,000 people and millions of others indirectly. They will also contributing billions of dollars in tax revenue for the state and support numerous small and medium-sized companies.But the expansion of the industry will have a detrimental impacts on the environment.
Human settlements have encroached on the habitat of endangered species such as the famous but endangered Gorilla’s. Recognizing the need to manage this development, logging and oil companies are now working with environmental groups and local governments to establish Gorilla’s rescue task forces to help protect these magnificent creatures that are only found in Uganda, parts of Rwanda and the lawless Democratic Republic of Congo forest bordering Uganda. Even international organisations, long critical of the destruction of Uganda’s unique rainforests, has praised the country for its renewed efforts. Various organisations with help of the government agencies have launched a conservation pilot project to protect high carbon stock forests in Uganda. That such efforts are now underway bodes well for the country of 35 million people and the environment. Contador Harrison applaud this development as it ensures the preservation of the most spectacular forests anywhere in the world without sacrificing economic growth that the country so badly needs.