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USAID Extends UGX80Bn to Address Poaching, Wildlife Conflict in Uganda

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 long-term stability.   

“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 involving poachers.

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