In a Press statement, USAID said the multi-year activities will reduce wildlife trafficking, help communities manage their natural resources and promote real world alternatives to poaching and encroachment into natural areas.
Suspected poachers with a cheetah carcass.
The United States Agency for International
Development-USAID has announced a cash injection of USD 21.5 million (UGX 80
billion) to improve biodiversity in Uganda.
The funding will come through three new USAID activities
including Biodiversity for Resilience, implemented by Research Triangle
International in partnership with World Wildlife Fund Uganda Conservation through
Public Health and Viamo.
Additional funding is for combating Wildlife
Crime, implemented by the Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with the
African Wildlife Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Network and the
Royal United Services Institute and the third one is through the Uganda
Biodiversity Fund, implemented in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation
Society and local conservation organizations.
In a Press statement, USAID said the multi-year
activities will reduce wildlife trafficking, help communities manage their
natural resources and promote real world alternatives to poaching and
encroachment into natural areas. “They will also provide support for authorities in protected
areas and engage the private sector to develop sustainable solutions for
affected communities. The activities will reduce wildlife crime by improving
the capabilities and coordination of local and national authorities, and will
further develop the Uganda Biodiversity Fund,” the statement reads.
Accordingly, the activities will also have the benefit of
reducing human-wildlife interaction that can lead to the emergence of pandemic
zoonotic diseases. According to the statement, Uganda’s incredible biodiversity
is both a global treasure and a key to the country’s economic growth and
“Nature-based tourism accounts for seven percent of GDP and
in 2018 alone created more than 650,000 jobs. At the same time, protected areas
are under unprecedented pressure from human populations, which increasingly
exposes communities to wildlife. This increases human-wildlife conflict and
exposure to zoonotic diseases that can have deadly consequences for both the
people and wildlife that underpin Uganda’s tourism industry,” It reads.
According to USAID, Wildlife crime is a dangerous problem
that destabilises communities and tarnishes Uganda’s reputation and security. It further states that the tourism industry has suffered
tremendously during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through these new awards, USAID and its partners will help affected
communities find ways to use their natural resources to secure their economic
well-being.” In 2019, UWA said 1600 arrests had been made