The EU Delegation in Uganda says these response activities are designed to address conservation and wildlife protection in these very difficult times plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Five organizations in Uganda have secured 1.6 Billion Shillings to
boost conservation activities and livelihoods around protected areas.
The funds are from the European Union (EU) and the Organization of
African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). They will be availed through the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Save Our Species African
Wildlife Initiative and the BIOPAMA Action Component (AC), both managed by the
BIOPAMA, the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management programme
aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural
resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas
and surrounding communities.
In 2020, in response to COVID-19 and the loss of income for many
projects in protected areas, IUCN Save Our Species and the BIOPAMA AC opened a
special call for proposals to alleviate impacts specifically arising from the
A range of activities now being implemented to alleviate the impacts
includes diversifying livelihoods to absorb the loss of tourism income,
implementing health protocols to protect gorillas, and clearing invasive species
to secure rhino habitat.
The Environmental Governance Institute (EGI), Conservation through
Public Health (CTPH) and the Rhino Fund Uganda are implementing these
activities in and around Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable
National Park, and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The other projects are; Ecological
Trends Alliance aimed at fighting lion persecution in Queen Elizabeth National
Park, as well as the Snares to Wares Initiative.
"This transforms wire snares taken from Murchison Falls
National Park into sculptures that not only generate alternative revenue
opportunities for local communities but also shine a spotlight on illegal poaching
practices," says IUCN.
The group says that while the challenges facing this sector have
existed for a long, many have been exacerbated following the COVID-19
"But we have also seen a greater appreciation of nature and
the importance of conservation. Working together with various stakeholders
including local communities IUCN is confident that we will develop more
resilient ecosystems for the benefit of nature and people,” says Luther Anukur,
the Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.
The EU Delegation in Uganda says these response activities are
designed to address conservation and wildlife protection in these very
difficult times plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Head of Delegation, Attilio Pacifici says these actions are
also important to preserve the foundation for the future of the beauty of the
country because it is what guarantees the future of Uganda's tourism sector.
"Protecting the wildlife species is about protecting us and
our lives. It is about safeguarding the future of our daughters and sons and
securing for them a world in which they can live,” he says.
The Environmental Governance Institute (EGI), operating in the Murchison
Falls belt, will get a Rapid Action Grant of 260 Million Shillings for one year.
In response to this situation, EGI supports them in diversifying
and developing alternative livelihoods, through training on alternative land
use, photography, writing, communication and catering.
The project is expected to promote the conservation of various
threatened species, including elephants, carnivores and primates.
The Conservation through Public Health (CTPH) which operates
around the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park received 442 Million Shillings for
one year, to boost health measures to protect mountain gorillas. The Park is
home to 43% of the remaining 1063 free-ranging Mountain Gorillas in the world,
and health expects says If COVID-19 were to infect the park’s gorilla
population, it could have a devastating impact. CTPH will ensure the
protection of endangered primates by conducting thorough and frequent COVID-19
tests on both humans and gorillas, and by training staff on COVID-19 prevention
and gorilla health monitoring.
The project will also help the local community generate alternative sources of
income by training farmers on how to grow and sell organic coffee. It is hoped
that the income generated from the sales will reduce the dependence of the
communities on gorilla habitat to meet basic needs for food and wood, limiting
human-gorilla contact as much as possible.
The Michigan State University's Snares to Wares Initiative
targets the wider Murchison Falls Conservation Area in North-western Uganda.
The initiative will receive 311 Million Shillings aimed at removing and stopping
the use of wire snares that are taken into Murchison Falls National Park
and anchored to trees across frequented hunting trails.
Though the intended targets of this activity are typically
antelope, wire snares are indiscriminate and capture both target and non-target
species. This project will also provide artistic training to the local
community to transform the wires from the snares into sculptures that will be
sold to generate income.
Another grant of 397 Million Shillings for 2 years will go to the Ecological
Trends Alliance (ETA), to prevent the persecution of lions in Queen Elizabeth
Reports at the Uganda Wildlife Authority say that the lion
population in Uganda is deteriorating due to human-lion conflict in and around
Protected Areas especially Queen Elizabeth National Park.
ETA aims to reduce the number of both livestock depredation by
lions and of lions persecuted in the four enclave villages.
Additionally, by involving the local community, the goal is to
strengthen the relationship between local communities and the Protected Area.
The program has also given the Rhino Fund Uganda, a rapid response
grant of 221 Million Shillings to, among other things, reinstate a Biodiversity
Management Program at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The program was suspended due to
It aims to improve the habitat for white rhinos by bush clearing
and invasive species management allowing suppressed grasses to flourish. The
success of the program to date shows that it will enable other wildlife and
bird species to utilize the improved habitat thereby increasing biodiversity.