UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Uganda
(UNESCO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is an agency under United Nations that is specialized in promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms to increase universal respect for justice. The agency has its headquarters based in France, Paris in particular. The agency was formed in 1946 and its members now are amounting to 194. Its objectives are education, natural sciences, social or human sciences. UNESCO world heritage sites in Uganda are three,
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable national park was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and declared as a UNESCO natural world heritage site in 1994. The park is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and is famous for gorilla tracking. The park is located in Southwestern Uganda sited on the mountainous Kigezi region covering over 331 Square kilometers and it is known for its exceptional biodiversity. The park alone is home to many (Over 550individuals) of the remaining mountain gorillas having half of these endangered primates that are restricted to only three African countries that are Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The park has a diversity of wildlife and gives shelter to over 120 mammals, including several primates like the guereza colobus, bush elephants, antelopes, and hosts 350 bird species of which 23 Albertine endemics.
As a key site for biodiversity on the continent and species richness, Bwindi impenetrable national park is considered a superlative natural phenomenon. This has made it attract a large number of substantial local and international Non-Governmental Organizations for research and community support to protect and conserve the site from encroachment such that the next generation can also benefit from it.
Rwenzori Mountains National park
Rwenzori mountain national park is found in the misty western region on the borders of both Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo. The Rwenzori national park is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) that succeeded the Uganda National Parks (UNP), which was the management authority at the time of the site being recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Rwenzori mountain is the third tallest in Africa following mountain Kilimanjaro of Tanzania and Mt Kenya are very rich in biodiversity, also presenting some iconic flora that cannot be seen anywhere else in Uganda. On top of that, the Rwenzori peaks possess permanent snow on its peak. The vegetation has been divided into five distinct zones and each zone is determined by altitude and some point aspect. There is so much biodiversity in the Ruwenzori Mountains for scientific research on the African continent that it was even named as Africa’s big botanical game.
The higher altitude zones, covered by heath and Afro-alpine moorland, extend from around 3,500 meters to the snow line and represent the rarest vegetation types on the African continent. Significant species include the groundsels, giant heathers, lobelias, and other Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Situated in Kampala on Kasubi hill, the tombs were built back in 1882 and then made burial grounds in 1884 for the royal family members. The palace was built for the Kabakas (kings) of the Buganda kingdom with thatched grasses on top and circular to depict the way of life of the Baganda, culture, and as well as the traditions. The Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building of the Kasubi tombs has tombs of four Kabakas and in the essence of understanding; the place is for spiritual beliefs and identity of the Baganda people.
At the same time, the place is considered/qualifies a religious center in the kingdom of Buganda for the royal family where all the important traditional rituals are performed. Under UNESCO, the significance of the tombs is within the intangible values of continuity, spirituality, beliefs, and identity of the Baganda people serving as a great reflection of Buganda’s historical and cultural symbol for Uganda and East Africa at large. Although there was a fire outbreak that destroyed the main building and with no clear causes apart from a raised issue that the fire was due to the caretaker cooking around the area of tombs. This was a great setback since one key attribute of these tombs was now missing, the other building materials could easily be traced that is wood poles, spears, grass, reeds, and wattles to reconstruct the tombs.
The UNESCO world heritage committee included the Kasubi tombs on their list several years back and this caused some grief to many Ugandans in the Buganda kingdom. In the long run, when the tombs were burnt down, UNESCO was contributing greatly to the reconstruction of the site and as well as using fireproofed materials to bring, back the cultural image of the site. Mainly the role of UNESCO is to ensure sustainable development of many sites including cultural sites like the Kasubi tombs.