I am joining Friends of the Earth Uganda (NAPE) in their campaign to protect Uganda's unique heritage.
We lived in Uganda for a few years (2001-4) and saw how beautiful it is - although we were aware of how much of it had already been deforested. Please don't be tricked into ruining your wonderful country for another short term commercial modernist 'solution'.
We visited the Ssesse Islands and know that they are a fantastic tourism resource - but not if they are turned into monoculture plantations (the products of which are boycotted by growing numbers of people). Please support permaculture instead.
Please consider the long term future and the integrity of the age-old respect humans had for the land. Monocultures are dangerous - we need to protect biodiversity. At last many people are beginning to realise this (but our politicians do not as they are blinkered by vested interests)
We live in the UK and this country has been thoroughly despoiled by too much 'development'. The grassroots is now trying, through the Transition movement (now taking off worldwide), to relearn the old values which are not just about profit.
Please also see the international Earth Charter which lists the values and principles we need for a sustainable world.
In Uganda you know what it is to fight against oppression; this commercial oppression must be opposed. Please stand up for what's right.
Shan Oakes was Green Party candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough in 2015. She previously stood for Haltemprice & Howden for 2010 and in the 2008 by-election coming second out of 26 candidates.
Shan lived in Beverley from 1975. She taught English at schools in Hull and Beverley. This was followed by eight years championing child welfare, parent partnership and special needs for Humberside County Council and City of York education departments, and further work in the York Community Safety Partnership.
Shan then spent two and a half years living, working and learning a great deal in Uganda. She is a co-founder (with Bill Rigby) of Voice International, which promotes sustainability through education. In her MSc dissertation
(Education for Sustainability) Shan argues that diversity is fundamental to sustainability.
Shan works with organisations such as Friends of the Earth Transition Towns, the Earth Charter UK. Shan and Bill run an eco holiday house in York. They moved to Knaresborough in 2014 to be nearer some of their 11 grandchildren - who are a wonderful window into the future.