RWENZORI REGION: The King of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru, has completed a 10-day Rwenzori Royal Expedition to the Margherita peak.
The expedition sought to draw attention to the impact of climate change and the significant role of environmental conservation and promotion of the Rwenzori Mountains as a unique adventure tourism attraction.
The Kings Expedition was used to promote sustainable adventure tourism under the Campaign to Conserve Mountain Ecosystems to highlight the beauty and splendour of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges as one of the remaining equatorial glaciers in the world.
It comes at a time when the mountain is experiencing a rapid loss of glaciers as a result of human activity and the climate, according to the Uganda Tourism Board and the United Nations Development Program-UNDP.
In a statement, Daudi Migereko, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Uganda Tourism Board, said in a statement that the Rwenzori Royal Expedition is an opportunity to drum up support for culture and heritage tourism promotion in the country.
“The Rwenzori Royal Expedition 2022 will not only raise awareness about the restoration and protection of areas affected by climate change, but will also rally support for the promotion of culture and heritage tourism in our beautiful country,” Migereko said.
Owek Joan Kantu Else, the Minister of Tourism in the Tooro Kingdom, observed an urgent need to preserve the crown of snow on the Rwenzori Mountains to sustain the country’s tourism potential, saying the effects of climate change in the country should be responded to with urgency, citing the recent floods in Mbale and other districts in the Elgon region that left 29 people dead.
The Minister for Wildlife and Antiquities, Tom Butime, said this year’s Campaign of Conserving Mountain Ecosystems led by the UNDP, supported by the Tooro Kingdom and the Uganda Tourism Board, will create awareness by highlighting the effects of climate change on the environment and the impact on tourism.
Butime notes that the Ministry will continue to support the private sector in developing tourism products in order to enhance traveller experiences throughout the country.
The Rwenzori Mountains were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and later a Ramsar Site in 2008 due to the unique beauty and vegetation zones marked by grassland, montane forest, bamboo, heather, and afro-alpine moorland zones that support diverse species of birds and other wildlife.