Victoria University has signed a partnership with global conservationist and media influencer Autro Islas Allende to establish the Autro Islas Allende Environment and Conservation Centre.
Autro Islas Allende, known for his commitment to environmental causes, is in Uganda for the second time, courtesy of ‘Back to the Source Tours.’ Having previously visited in 2021, he has been actively involved in global efforts against the destruction of planet earth and animal abuse.
Dr. Lawrence Muganga, the Vice Chancellor of Victoria University, said the primary role of this centre will be to create and disseminate new knowledge, with a focus on integrating conservation education into all their academic programmes.
“It will also focus, on international students exchange programmes, innovation and training projects for students, and supporting of communities harboring the country’s beauty that needs to be protected. More so, as a higher education institution, our responsibility extends beyond traditional teaching; we must shape future leaders with a sustainable mindset and skillset,” he said in a statement issued on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.
Dr Muganga explained that while Uganda, often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Africa,’ boasts diverse ecosystems, charismatic species, and unique natural wonders, it faces challenges such as habitat degradation and species loss.
“Victoria University, recognizing the urgency of these issues, has resolved to establish the Autro Islas Allende Environment and Conservation Centre,” he said.
Although Uganda is a party to a number of international conventions, he added that it generally lacks the resources to effectively implement them.
“The country has many environmental laws, policies, guidelines, and management plans on the books, but little implementation or enforcement for most of them,” he said.
However, he admitted that there are multiple impediments to effective law enforcement efforts in certain cases.
“At the village level, many people are ignorant of the natural resources laws and do not understand the importance of sustainable use of the environment and natural resources. There is a need for environmental awareness, education at all levels, from the top Government officials down to the schoolchildren in the villages,” he said.
“As a university, our role is not to just complain or be bystanders in such a situation. We must offer solutions. This is why we have decided to partner with Autro, to establish the Autro Islas Allende Environment and Conservation Centre,” Dr Muganga said.
In collaboration with Autro and his team, the Centre will also aim at raising awareness and educating communities in Uganda and the East African region about the value of their natural resources. The goal is to empower individuals and students, to actively participate in conservation efforts and understand the importance of sustainable use.
“Uganda faces challenges in biodiversity conservation, ranging from inadequate protection of key areas to issues at the district and community levels. The Autro Islas Allende Environment and Conservation Centre will address these challenges by conducting research, promoting environmental awareness at all levels, supporting Government and facilitating community involvement in zoning and planning,” the statement adds.
Furthermore, the Centre will play a crucial role in gathering ecological data to determine trends in biodiversity exploitation and overexploitation. Victoria University students and staff will actively engage in research to ensure that the gathered knowledge is effectively utilized.
To achieve lasting impact, the Centre will also find new markets for sustainably produced natural products by students, as a way enabling them start projects to reduce on unemployment of youth in this country.
“Victoria University is committed to reimagining the purpose of higher education in the face of environmental challenges. The establishment of the Autro Islas Allende Environment and Conservation Centre is a step towards fostering a sustainable world for future generations. There is a great deal of resilience in Uganda, and there is real hope for the environment because many people still rely directly on it. The primary motivation for conservation should reside not only in in the he remnant fauna and habitats but with the country’s people too,” he said.
Who is Autro Islas Allende?
Autro Islas Allende is a prominent figure in the world of content creation, renowned for his captivating series, “Indominable X Nature” and “Survivors.” His influence extends across major streaming platforms, including Disney, Netflix, CBS, and Amazon Prime.
As a global movie and documentary maker, Autro’s work transcends borders. His creative journey led him to participate in the 2018 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Copa America Brazil, showcasing his versatility in both sports and environmental storytelling.
In 2019, Autro received the prestigious “El Sol de Oro,” the oldest international award for environmental activism. This accolade recognizes his unwavering commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental issues through his impactful content.
Autro Islas Allende holds a remarkable achievement in the realm of social media, boasting the record for the highest number of reproductions on Instagram with one of his videos. This feat underscores the significant impact of his work on a global audience, resonating with people who share his passion for nature and conservation.
In 2020, Autro took on the role of the host for the CBS Reality Show “SURVIVOR Mexico,” further solidifying his position as a multifaceted entertainer and advocate for environmental consciousness. His involvement in this reality show aligns with his broader mission of inspiring individuals to appreciate and preserve the beauty of the natural world.
Autro Islas Allende’s journey as an international content creator and environmental activist reflects a profound dedication to using his platform for positive change. Through his creative endeavors, he continues to bridge the gap between entertainment and environmental advocacy, leaving an indelible mark on both industries.