About the congress

Background

Since 1988 when the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE) was formed the priority has been to support and promote the critical efforts of indigenous and local communities in conservation of biological, cultural and linguistic diversity.

The first congress held in Belém, Brazil in 1988 considered a strategy to stop the rapid deterioration of biological and cultural diversity. The Declaration of Belém that was adopted after that congress set out responsibilities of scientists and environmentalists in addressing the needs of local communities. This included the recognition of indigenous experts as authorities to be fully involved in initiatives that affect them, their resources and environments.

Since then the ISE has been holding a congress every two years in different parts of the world. The congresses are aimed at providing a platform to continue the cross-cultural sharing of ideas, issues and solutions and finding meaningful dialogue between scientists, environmentalists and indigenous and local communities.

During the congresses participants address various subjects which also inform the wider public on topical issues of concern.

Following on past congresses the 15th congress to be held at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda will bring participants from around the world and from different backgrounds to discuss issues of concern in advancing biocultural diversity, especially the role of cultural heritage in livelihoods.

The main theme is ‘Ethnobiological knowledge for improved human wellbeing and development’, and will be tackled from different angles as seen in some of the sub-themes.

15th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology

1–7 August 2016 in Kampala, Uganda

Theme: Ethnobiological knowledge for improved human wellbeing and development

Tagline: “Together keeping continuity from our roots

Makerere University in collaboration with the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and Buganda Kingdom are hosting the 15th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

The main theme is Ethnobiological knowledge for improved human wellbeing and development.

The tagline of “together keeping continuity from our roots” is putting emphasis on the necessary efforts that have to be taken to ensure that important elements in cultural heritage are kept for wellbeing of humanity. Cultural heritage should not be neglected because the related knowledge amassed through experience, research, education and blending is essential for livelihoods now and in the future.

The congress will be interactive. Besides the oral presentations and poster session, there will be other forms of presentations such as

Mid-week short trips will take participants to various biocultural sites. Post-congress long trips will give participants a choice to see part of the biocultural diversity of Uganda.

About Uganda

Geography

Uganda, referred to as the “Pearl of Africa”, is a landlocked country in the East African region lying astride the equator with an area of 236,040 km2 and a population of nearly 37 million. She is bordered by:

The land rises from a plateau of 900–1,500m above sea level and runs through hilly country to mountains and inselbergs in the north; Mt. Elgon in the east; broad swampy valleys to the south; and to the Albertine rift valley in the west with lakes and volcanoes as well as the glaciated Rwenzori Mountains range, popularly called Mountains of the moon, that has its highest peak at 5,100m. In the southeast there is Lake Victoria, the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the world that is shared with Kenya and Tanzania. The lake is the source of the Nile River, the world’s longest river.

History

About 500 B.C. Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to the area now called Uganda. By the 14th century, three kingdoms Buganda, Bunyoro, and Ankole dominated, others being Tooro and Busoga. Outside influence came mainly with the arrival of the Arabs in 1840 and the British explorers in 1862. In 1894 Uganda was proclaimed a British protectorate ‘put together from some very organized kingdoms and chieftaincies that inhabited the lake regions of central Africa’. Uganda gained her independence from the British on October 9th 1962. She is a democratic country and, although a republic since 1967, she has the recognized hereditary kingdoms and other chieftaincies that go back for centuries.

English is the official language for government, commerce and education.

From early foreign religious influences, Uganda has many religious denominations, the major ones being Anglican, Roman Catholic and Islam. Between November 1885 and January 1887, there was resistance to these foreign religions by Kabaka (king) Mwanga II that led to execution of followers that are celebrated every 3rd of June as the Uganda Martyrs.

Biodiversity

Uganda is very rich in biodiversity owing to her unique bio-geographical location where six of Africa’s 18 phytogeographical regions converge.

There are about 5,000 indigenous vascular plant species, 10% of which are endemic; 380 mammal species (including the rare mountain gorilla), making Uganda the 2nd richest in mammal species in Africa and 13th in the world; and more than half of all African birds, one of these being the Crowned Crane, Uganda’s national emblem.

Birdsong at dawn – Kampala

There are a number of famous National Parks, including: the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park famous for its largest population of the mountain gorilla and a high concentration of primates; and Queen Elizabeth National Park known for the tree climbing lions at Ishasha. The two parks are part of the Western Rift Valley, referred to as the Albertine Rift which is a ‘biodiversity hotspot’ and an ‘endemic bird area’.

Endowed with fertile land for most of the country, Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy with coffee as a major export crop of which Uganda is Africa’s leading producer.

Culture

Uganda has a very rich culture. There are four major ethnic groups:

These ethnic groups are represented by up to 65 tribal groupings with an equally diverse linguistic coverage. Their cultural expressions especially in art, music and dance are as varied.

Embodied among these cultures is a broad wealth of indigenous knowledge. Before introduction of cloth amongst the Baganda tribe, barkcloth was used. Its invention and development in Buganda kingdom attained recognition in 2005 in UNESCO's “Third Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. In the health sector, it has been estimated that over 80% of the population especially in rural areas depend on traditional or herbal medicine, thus traditional medicine plays a big role in Uganda’s health care system. Uganda is also rich in nutritious traditional foods that are yet to be explored fully.

Congress themes

The congress theme is “Ethnobiological knowledge for improved human wellbeing and development

It goes with a tagline of “Together keeping continuity from our roots”. This emphasizes the efforts that must be taken to learn from cultural heritage and knowledge for wellbeing of humanity.

The knowledge amassed through experience, research, education, and blending is essential for livelihoods now and in the future.

Congress sub-themes include:

Pre-congress events

The ISE’s 4th Pre-Congress Student Workshop for Emerging Ethnobiologists will take place on 26 – 29 July 2016.

More information is available at the workshop website.

Congress program

Please note that this outline is subject to change.

You can download a PDF of the congress programme.

Programme Outline

Sunday, 31st July
14:00 – 18:00 - Registration ( Main Hall )
14:00 – 18:30 - Closed-door meeting of the ISE Board ( Makerere Guest House )

Monday, 1st August
08:00 – 09:00 - Registration ( Main Hall )
09:00 – 10:30 - Opening ceremony ( Main Hall )
10:30 – 11:00 - Health Break
11:00 – 12:45 - Plenary Session: Distinguished Guest Speakers ( Main Hall )
13:00 – 14:00 - Lunch
14:00 – 16:30 - Plenary Session: ISE 1st General Assembly ( Main Hall )
17:00 – 19:00 - Reception

Tuesday, 2nd August
08:00 – 10:30 - Concurrent Sessions
10:30 – 11:00 - Health Break
11:00 – 13:00 - Concurrent Sessions
13:00 – 14:00 - Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 - Concurrent Sessions
15:30 – 16:00 - Health Break
16:00 – 17:30 - Concurrent Sessions
18:00 – 19:30 - Special Session: Achieving Food, Health and Energy Sovereignty

Wednesday, 3rd August
08:30 – 10:30 - Concurrent Sessions
10:30 – 11:00 - Health Break
11:00 – 13:00 - Concurrent Sessions
13:00 – 14:00 - Lunch
14:00 – 17:30 - Exhibitions*
*Note: Exhibitions in the Cultural Village are ongoing all week long, but Wednesday afternoon is set aside for everyone to visit.

Thursday, 4th August
08:00 – 17:30 - Mid-week Short Trips

Friday, 5th August
08:30 – 10:30 - Concurrent Sessions
10:30 – 11:00 - Health Break
11:00 – 13:00 - Concurrent Sessions
13:00 – 14:00 - Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 - Concurrent Sessions
15:30 – 16:00 - Health Break
16:00 – 17:30 - Concurrent Sessions

Saturday, 6th August
08:30 – 10:30 - Concurrent Sessions
10:30 – 11:00 - Health Break
11:00 – 13:00 - Concurrent Sessions
13:00 – 14:00 - Lunch
14:00 – 17:30 - Poster Session

Sunday, 7th August
08:30 – 10:30 - Plenary Session: ISE 2nd General Assembly ( Main Hall )
10:30 – 11:00 - Health Break
11:00 – 12:45 - Closing Ceremony ( Main Hall )
13:00 – 14:00 - Lunch
14:00 – 16:00 - Closed-door meeting of the new ISE Board
18:00 – 21:00 - Cultural banquet

Monday, 8th August
Long Trips begin

Field trips

Mid-week Trips

Interesting mid-week trips to cultural and historical sites are planned. More details are available in this PDF. In addition, participants will get a detailed rundown of these trips in their welcome packets.

Post-Congress Long Trips

Book your choice of trip directly with Kazinga Tours. ( All cost figures in USD )

Western Uganda, Bwindi ( 4 Days )

Meet the Mountain Gorillas ( tracking ); experience the Impenetrable forest; see many monkeys, a variety of birds and butterflies. Visit the local people, the Batwa. On the way, visit the Igongo Cultural Centre and Museum.
Staying at Buhoma Community Rest Camp B&B.
Cost:
US$ 310 ( twin-sharing ) for 6 people;
US$ 365 ( twin-sharing ) for 4 or 5 people;
US$ 520 ( twin-sharing ) for 2 or 3 people.
Extras:
US$ 30 per day for full board;
US$ 50 per day for single room;
US$ 600 for gorilla tracking ( optional ).

Western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park ( 4 Days )

Game drives, see elephants, buffalo, lions, etc.; Boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, see crocodiles, hippos, birds, etc. Visit Ishasha for topis and climbing lions. On the way, stop at the Equator, and visit the Igongo Cultural Museum.
Staying at Mweya Hostel and Ntungwe River Camp ( both B&B ).
Cost:
US$ 415 ( twin-sharing ) for 6 people;
US$ 475 ( twin-sharing ) for 4 or 5 people;
US$ 620 ( twin-sharing ) for 2 or 3 people.
Extras:
US$ 30 per day for full board;
US$ 50 per day for single room;
US$ 10 – 25 ( optional ) visiting local community, fees passed on directly to the community.

Western Uganda, including Kibale Forest National Park and Rwenzori Mountain National Park ( 7 Days )

In Kibale, see the rich forest vegetation with 12 monkey species, chimpanzees, etc.; visit the community Bigodi Swamp Sanctuary. In Rwenzori, see the interesting forest and alpine vegetation, including the giant Lobelias; take a brief hike to 3,414 m, viewing the snow-capped peaks. On the way, visit Nakayima ( the 400 year sacred tree ) and Bigo bya Mugyenyi ( archaeological earthworks associated with the legendary Bacwezi of the 14 – 16 centuries ).
Staying at Chimpanzee Forest Guest House in Kibale B&B; Rwenzori Mountains Cottages and Nyabitaba Hut ( at 2,652 m ).
Cost:
US$ 995 ( twin-sharing ) for 6 people;
US$ 1090 ( twin-sharing ) for 4 or 5 people;
US$ 1295 ( twin-sharing ) for 2 or 3 people.
Extras:
US$ 30 per day for full board;
US$ 20 per day for single room.

Eastern Uganda, including Jinja ( source of the Nile ), Sipi Falls, and Mt. Elgon ( 4 Days )

Visit the source of the Nile, with optional kayaking and whitewater rafting; visit the local community; view the Sipi Falls, 3 huge waterfalls up to 100 m on the slopes of Mt. Elgon; take a brief hike on Mt. Elgon; see the beautiful landscape, birds, etc.
Staying at Nile Hotel, Jinja, and later at Lacam Lodge, ( both B&B ).
Cost:
US$ 375 ( twin-sharing ) for 6 people;
US$ 450 ( twin-sharing ) for 4 or 5 people;
US$ 585 ( twin-sharing ) for 2 or 3 people.
Extras:
US$ 30 per day for full board;
US$ 40 per day for single room;
US$ 125 for whitewater rafting ( optional );
US$ 75-100 for horse riding ( optional ).

North-Western Uganda, including Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo Forest ( 4 Days )

Game drives, see elephants, giraffes, lions, buffalo, leopards; Boat ride on the Nile with the spectacular 60 meter high Murchison Falls, see hippos, crocodiles, birds; experience the richness of Budongo forest with birds, chimpanzees and other primates. On the way, visit Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Staying at Red Chiili Camp B&B, Pakuba Safari Lodge (half-board), and Budongo Forest Eco-Lodge B&B.
Cost:
US$ 605 ( twin-sharing ) for 6 people;
US$ 670 ( twin-sharing ) for 4 or 5people;
US$ 825 ( twin-sharing ) for 2 or 3 people.
Extras:
US$ 30 per day for full board;
US$ 60 per day for single room.

Northern Uganda, including Kidepo Valley National Park ( 5 Days )

Game drives, see elephants, giraffes, buffalo, lions, and birds ( including the ostrich ). Visit the Karamojong and experience their way of living. On the way see the iron-age Nyero rock paintings.
Staying at Lira Hotel or Margaritha Palace Hotel, ( both B&B ), and UWA Bandas ( room only ) or Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp ( full board ).
Cost:
US$ 705 ( twin-sharing ) for 6 people;
US$ 785 for 4 or 5 people;
US$ 965 for 2 or 3 people.
Extras:
US$ 30 per day for full board;
US$ 195 per day for single room.