The Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority, Mr. Moses Mapesa has today, 4th October 2008 been awarded an international conservation award called the WCPA Fred Packard Award. Mr. Mapesa is one of seven people who will receive the award during the on-going IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
However, the award will be received on Mr. Mapesa’s behalf by the UWA Director of Tourism, Mrs. Eunice Duli Mahoro, who is representing Uganda Wildlife Authority at the Congress.
The Head of the IUCN Program on Protected Areas, Mr. David Sheppard, said in a phone interview that IUCN attaches a lot of importance to this award. “It is given to people who have given outstanding service to protected areas management recognizable at a global level,” Mr. Sheppard explained, further revealing that Mr. Mapesa was one of seven winners chosen from 15 nominees.
Mr. Sheppard also said that the WCPA Fred Packard Award is one of the most important awards given by the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). Some of the recipients of the award are from Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, United States and New Caledonia. Mr. Mapesa is the only award recipient from Africa.
Passing on the message to Mr. Mapesa, Mr. Sheppard wrote, “Congratulations and many thanks for all you have done and achieved for the protected areas and for conservation over many years.” Mr. Mapesa was further informed that the award, which is one of seven Packard Awards selected from a globally outstanding field of 15 nominees, would be given to him at the full WCPA members meeting on 4th October 2008.
Accepting the award (via email), Mr. Mapesa said, “This is a great inspiration and motivation for me and my colleagues in Uganda. I owe all this to my staff as I believe in teamwork.” He however regretted that he would be unable to personally receive the award because of earlier scheduled engagements, which he could not cancel at short notice.
The WCPA Fred Packard Award is named after the first IUCN Head of the Protected Areas Program, Mr. Fred Packard, who worked with the organization for over 35 years. The award is only in recognition at an international level of the great work done by various individuals in the field of protected areas management, and it has no financial incentive attached to it. Mr. Mapesa has worked with the wildlife sector for the last 19 years.