© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
Since February 2018, the University of Padova worked committed on a project for the nomination of the Elpas Forest (Monte Moroto, Karamoja, Uganda) as a UNESCO "Man and Biosphere Programme" site. The aim of the project is to preserve the environmental uniqueness of the place and to launch a sustainable development plan for the local community.
To launch the project, the University partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Italian Ambassy in Uganda, the Diocese of Moroto, and local Italian NGOs.
On Friday 28 February 2020, the Italian Ambassador hosted a meeting in Kampala with all stakeholders, during which a team from the University of Padova, represented by Sati Elifcan Ozbek, a graduate student in the MA Degree Programme Human Rights and Multilevel Governance, supervised by Professor Alberto Lanzavecchia and the technical expert Giorgio Andrian, reached the goal.
The team will eventually conduct the feasibility study for the candidacy of the Elpas Forest as a UNESCO site.
On Monday 02 March 2020, an official agreement for funding between UNDP and the Diocese of Moroto was signed.
The Diocese of Moroto was selected as the most appropriate counterpart of the project to involve the local communities of the Mount Moroto territories. Considering the specific position of the Elpas Forest just at the border line between Uganda and Kenya, an area often tormented by microconflicts for the use of natural resources, the engagement of local communities is crucial.