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Spain, UWA Train Scouts in Wildlife Management

The training aimed at mitigating threats to biodiversity, illegal trafficking of wildlife species, improve the working conditions of the ecological guards to improve and promote tourism sector in the country.
25 Nov 2021 11:01
Kidepo TR 2021-11-12 16;51 Photo135 Team equipment presentation

Audio 4

The Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA and the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition have passed out 22 wildlife scouts trained in problem animal management and sustainable conservation. 

The training aimed at mitigating threats to biodiversity, human-wildlife conflict, illegal trafficking of wildlife species, and improved working conditions of the ecological guards to enhance and promote the tourism sector in the country.

Geoffrey Twinomuhangi, the Kidepo Valley National Game Park Chief Warden disclosed that the 14-days training that drew selected community scouts focused on safety and ecological conservation skills to improve their performance.

Twinomuhangi explained that the trainees were taught essential skills on how to administer first aid in an event of injury, tracking footsteps of wild animals, survival skills, gadgets handling such as binoculars, and how to respond to community alarms.

Diana Perez-Aranda, a trainer from the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge in Spain says with the human population explosion, the wildlife spaces continue to dwindle due to human activities, thus igniting conflicts over resources that require skilled ecological guards to enforce sustainable conservation.

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Stanley Himaana, a trainer from Bwindi Impenetrable National Game Park in Kisoro district says he has learned from the training the art of self-defense and tracking of wild animals to reduce their threats on communities.

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Another trainee, Emmanuel Muhwezi from the Ibanda District says it was a challenge tracking the wild animals and driving them back to their habitat. He says that the training came timely offering insightful methods that he will employ to help his community.

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Venice Mirembe, the UWA Manager in charge of awareness and human-wildlife conflict, notes that the authority records at least two incidences of human-wildlife conflicts across the country daily, citing attacks on humans, livestock, crop-raiding, and property damage.  

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Mirembe says that UWA has deployed 800 wildlife scouts to help park line communities on human-wildlife conflicts across the country. Such conflicts are always driven by the need for agricultural expansion, human settlement, livestock overgrazing, deforestation, and poaching.

The trainees were also supplied with personal protective gear like raincoats, notebooks, gumboots, back bags, binoculars, uniforms, GPS machines, technical instruments, radio, and first aid kits among others to improve their work conditions.

Human-wildlife conflicts orchestrated by problem animals such as gorillas, elephants, and hippopotamuses among others are rampant in Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Game Park among others.

Uganda's list of gazetted conservation areas encompasses 10 national parks, 8 wildlife reserves, 4 wildlife sanctuaries.