UWA, WildAid Recognise Outstanding Conservation Journalists

UWA, WildAid Recognise Outstanding Conservation Journalists

Uganda Wildlife Authority and WildAid have awarded remarkable journalists dedicated to the cause of wildlife conservation and environmental issues in Uganda.

The inaugural Uganda Conservation Media Awards took center stage at the elegant Protea Hotel in Kampala

Recognizing the pivotal role media plays in raising awareness, the wildlife conservation awards are a beacon of encouragement, motivation, and inspiration for journalists to deliver their best in conservation reporting.

Sam Mwandha, the Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority, hailed these awards as a testament to the media's potential to champion the conservation cause.

“These awards represent far more than a recognition of talent; they are a testament to the potential of media to drive theconservation agenda”.

“The stories the photographs and the documentaries that grace our newspapers, radios, television screens and websites serve an educative role and are a powerful reminder of the urgent need to protect our natural world, said Mr. Mwandha. 

These awards are part of a larger vision, a vision that aims to bring nature to the forefront of public consciousness. Bashir Hangi, Manager of Communication and Public Relations at the Uganda Wildlife Authority, expressed,

"This dream, this vision of recognizing outstanding journalists for their dedication to conservation reporting, was born out of a deep-seated passion for our natural world. We pay tribute to all the journalists who took the time and submitted entries. We envision a future where conservation issues rightfully occupy the minds of all Ugandans."

The winning entries explored a wide spectrum of crucial conservation, wildlife, and environmental topics, shedding light on the various challenges Uganda faces while celebrating the passionate individuals working tirelessly across the country to overcome them.

Winners also came from a wide variety of different media outlets, from established media based in Kampala to up-country local radio stations.

Simon Denyer, Africa Program Manager at WildAid and one of the judges, noted that,

"It was an extremely competitive field of entries, and in some cases, it was a tough decision to pick a single winner. I was heartened to witness so many essential issues being addressed and a diverse group of journalists participating. I extend my gratitude to everyone who took part and offer heartfelt congratulations to the deserving winners."

A panel of four judges received more than 140 entries across the 13 categories.

The following emerged winners:

Community conservation, print/online.
Gerald Tenywa, New Vision, Gorillas give dollars to Kanungu, Kisoro residents.
Community conservation, radio (tie, award shared).
Denis Omony, 102 Mega FM, Impact of revenue sharing on communities around
Murchison Falls National Park.
Odota Adubango Moureen, Voice of Lango FM, Lango communities plant trees for
charcoal, firewood to save endangered species.
Community conservation, television/video.
Simon Chris Makanga, Athari Media Support Africa (AMSA), The invisible climate
Wildlife protection, print/online.
Timothy Murungi, New Vision, Bwambale: Reformed poacher preaching conservation.
Wildlife protection, radio.
Michael Wambi, Uganda Radio Network, Earth Day 2023: Ugandans who have tirelessly
fought to protect our wildlife.
Wildlife protection, television/video.
Leon Ssenyange, China Global Television Network (CGTN), Uganda lion population under
Wildlife crime, print/online.
Edward Anyoli, New Vision, Why Uganda is a haven for wildlife traffickers.
Wildlife crime, radio.
Peter Labeja, Radio Rupiny, Distant justice: Last agony of former poachers in Nwoya
Wildlife crime, television/video.
Richard Olweny, NBS Television, Baboons being poached for rituals.
Habitats and environment, print/online.
Diana Taremwa Karakire, freelance, Oil money heralds trouble for Uganda's indigenous
Bagungu tribe, environment,

Habitats and environment, radio.
Chowoo Willy, Choice FM, Climate change causing increased spread of invasive species
in the national parks.
Habitats and environment, television/video.
David Ssozi, News 24/7, Bees, hunger and Kampala's air pollution.
Wildlife photograph of the year.
Atuhairwe Nelson Nelytiez, HD Media, Save elephants.

Winners were given a cash award of UGX 5,000,000, a winner’s plaque, certificate and
free entry to Uganda’s national parks for one year.