Under the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, the Implementing Park Action Plans for Community Engagement to tackle IWT project brings together various partners including International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Village Enterprise, Wildlife Conservation and UCF, to reduce poaching and IWT by park adjacent communities in Murchison Falls Conservation Area. Largely through greater levels of engagement with local communities and the adoption of a partnership approach in tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
On 23rd October 2018 UCF convened a Stakeholder Coordination Forum on Community-Based Wildlife Crime Prevention around Murchison Falls Protected Area. In attendance were all the partners mentioned above, plus other NGO representatives, government actors and community based organisations working on community-led interventions in the park.
The report below highlights key talking points from the stakeholder forum, of which include;
- Stronger emphasis than ever on community engagement to develop sustainable solutions to HWC challenges.
- Revenue sharing and provision of incentives is key to the success of conservation efforts and improving community livelihoods.
- Strong need for synergy between community conservation and law enforcement efforts within UWA.
- Input from other government livelihood programs is necessary to leverage support to the park-adjacent communities.