The State Forestry Administration and the United Nations Development Program, together with the Joshua Cheptegei Foundation, launched the “UNDP Elgon Half Marathon” to amplify the need for climate action and biodiversity conservation in the Elgon region.
The United Nations Development Program Elgon Half Marathon will be held on the 28thth Taking place in the Mbale region next month will feature three-time 10,000m world champion and reigning Olympic 5000m champion Joshua Cheptegei.
Elsie Attafuah, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, who spoke at the launch ceremony at the NFA headquarters in Bugolobi, noted that Uganda is a country of beautiful creations but human activities are destroying nature , which is why the United Nations Development Program uses sports tourism to raise awareness about nature. The dangers of climate degradation.
“The UNDP Elgon Half Marathon allows us to leverage Joshua Cheptegei’s brand to expand the conversation on climate action to protect the Elgon region while driving the creation of new opportunities for youth and women,” she said.
She noted that the tourism potential in the Elgon region is huge and it is the collective responsibility of Ugandans to ensure that this huge potential is fully realized.
“The United Nations Development Program and Joshua Cheptegei created the United Nations Development Program Elgon Half Marathon to diversify Uganda’s tourism offering, expand community participation in the tourism value chain, advocate for climate action and biodiversity conservation and ultimately enhance Uganda’s development agenda,” she said.
Cheputegei welcomed the initiative and invited Ugandans to join him in saving the Elgon region. He noted that the marathon will be a race that addresses different challenges facing the planet.
“Together we can champion sustainability and advocate for a greener future for generations to come. I am proud to stand here today, not only as a world champion, but as an ambassador for youth empowerment, sports tourism and the climate action agenda.”
Why Choose Elgon Region
The need for greater climate action and biodiversity conservation: Climate change is affecting the Rwenzori Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in different ways, research shows.
The most obvious is the rapid disappearance of glaciers, leading to devastating floods, coupled with less frequent but more intense rainfall. Through this marathon, UNDP will raise awareness of the urgent need for decisive global-scale climate action and protection of the unique biodiversity of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Diversifying tourism experiences in Uganda: Multiple crises and shocks illustrate the need to rethink the competitiveness and resilience model of tourism.
The Rwenzori Marathon is a nature-based solution that will expand the tourism offering in the Rwenzori region of Uganda beyond mountaineering, bird watching and nature walks. The marathon will also draw attention to immersive tourism investment opportunities in mountain destinations.
Expanding meaningful economic participation of Rwenzori communities in the tourism value chain: Tourism is a labour-intensive sector with multiple links throughout the economic value chain and represents an opportunity to uplift local communities and stimulate socio-economic growth. UNDP and stakeholders including governments, the private sector and communities have a responsibility to ensure that lives improve as tourism growth picks up. Through this marathon, UNDP ensures that tourism’s potential to boost prosperity and drive inclusive and sustainable development is fully realized.
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