The Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC) commonly known as Entebbe zoo has launched a digitalised Quick Response (QR) system which will enhance conservation education for all visitors at the centre. The QR digitalised system was launched on Thursday during the celebration of International day of zoo and aquarium educators.
While launching the digitalised system, Dr. James Musinguzi, the UWEC executive director said, the new system will ease and quicken the connection of people to nature so as to undertake positive action for conservation of wildlife.
According to the newly introduced system, a tourist or any other visitor at UWEC, can ably scan a code attached to any photograph of an animal or a plant and get all information and details attached to the given animal or plant.
“The Quick Response codes are indeed a needed tool for our clients now especially in this dot.com era – where smart phones have become more of an asset than a liability” noted Musinguzi.
As a conservation education center the educators have embarked on conversation programs that target waste management especially plastics and metal. Julius Mwesigye who steers the waste management team at the center, noted that it was everyone’s responsibility to manage wastes right from homesteads.
Globally zoos and aquaria receive over 700 million visitors annually and UWEC recorded its peak annual visit of 378,000 visitors in 2018. According to Dr. Musinguzi, the vast number of visitors that visit zoos and aquaria present a great opportunity for educators to pass on conservation messages.
The second Thursday of November was designated as the International Day of Zoo and Aquarium Educators. At UWEC, the day was celebrated virtually in order to adhere to the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.
UWEC which was established in 1952 as a wildlife sanctuary, has transformed from a traditional zoo popularly known as Entebbe Zoo to a conservation Education Centre established by an Act of parliament in 2015.
Over the years, the centre has implemented a number of conservation Education programs both onsite, in schools and communities across the country including; Rhino Conservation program, Bush Meat Crisis Program, Regional conservation Education Challenge, Waste Management Program, Forest Conservation Education Program, Ecotourism promotion and Livelihood improvement in Makanaga wetland among others.