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TOTAL LAUNCHES TILENGA BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION PROGRAM

By Our Reporter

KAMPALA: TotalEnergies EP Uganda has today {Wednesday} launched Tilenga biodiversity protection and conservation program.

The launch was attended by Mr Alfred Okot Okidi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of water & Environment; Dr Joseph Kobusheshe, Director Health Safety and Environment, Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Mr Simon Nampindo, Country Director Wildlife Conservation Society, Dr Barirega Akankwasah, Executive Director NEMA, Mr Richard Kapere, Manager Planning, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Mr Douglas Lukwago, Business Development Manager, National Forestry Authority.

Speaking during the launch, Philippe Groueix, General Manager TotalEnergies EP Uganda said they are mindful of the sensitive context when undertaking their activities.

He also said they are committed to ensure that they implement action plans designed to produce net positive impact on biodiversity.

‘’The biodiversity program will ensure a sustainable approach in working with the community towards protecting and conserving the ecologically rich area in and around the Murchison Falls Conservation Area,” said Philippe.

According to Philippe, this approach involves the implementation of conservation and community awareness initiatives, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to achieve biodiversity gains above baseline conditions.

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The program has been developed in close collaboration with Government agencies and reviewed by international experts.

Barirega Akankwasah the Executive Director National Environment Management Authority {NEMA} commended Total Energies for their efforts towards application of the Mitigation Hierarchy in relation to the unavoidable significant residual impacts that can or may arise from the implementation of the Tilenga Project.

‘’I call upon TotalEnergies to demonstrate that the proposed approach and or conservation actions will result in tangible and measurable conservation outcomes that would not have been achieved were the proposed mechanism not to be implemented; thus demonstrate additionality,’’ he said.

Akankwasah is optimistic that the interventions by TotalEnergies under this program shall be clear and distinguishable and not overlap with the mandates and functions or work of various institutions such as the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and the National Forestry Authority, among others.

‘’These efforts put into this kind of programme should prove to the world, particularly at this time when activists have portrayed Uganda’s petroleum development efforts in a negative light in international media, in consideration of climate change, that Uganda is committed to sustainable development,’’ he said.

Akankwasah noted that investment and production of oil and gas resources will be another way of cushioning the country against adverse effects of climate change by reducing dependence on nature for energy which leads to deforestation, and it will also diversify and strengthen the economy.

He also assured Ugandans that NEMA will ensure that oil and gas development processes are green according to the provisions in the law for the benefit of the current and future generations.

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