New York, June 27, 2019 – The following statement was released today by Tim Tear, Executive Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa Program:

“The Wildlife Conservation Society is deeply concerned by the announcement of the Uganda Electric Regulatory Authority (ERA) that it seeks approval for a new hydroelectric plant connected to Murchison Falls. The falls represent the centerpiece of the Murchison Falls National Park—one of Uganda’s most popular tourist attractions, with iconic species that include elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, and the shoebill stork.

“As a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), the park is home to many IUCN red-listed species that are already expected to be impacted by recently-approved plans for oil and gas development in the park. WCS has been at the center of developing KBAs and conservation priority sites for Uganda, including at Murchison Falls National Park.

“The Uganda ERA has called for input regarding a feasibility study proposed by the Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Limited Company. Given its significant role in conservation of Uganda’s wild places, WCS is requesting letters of objection to dam construction be delivered to the ERA’s offices.

“Those wishing to express their opposition to construction of a new hydroelectric project at Murchison Falls should go to the WCS website HERE so we can deliver the names to the ERA. In addition, we encourage those in opposition to the dam to sign this petition.

“We believe it is critical to bring greater awareness of this impending decision to the global stage. The addition of the newly proposed power plant to energy extraction operations already planned would be a serious and significant blow to Uganda’s largest national park, its iconic and threatened wildlife, and the tourism industry at the heart of Uganda’s domestic economy.”