In Uganda, poaching has prevailed mainly due to lack of income generating opportunities and human wildlife conflicts in areas adjacent to the national parks.
Under the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, UCF, with partners, International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Village Enterprise and Wildlife Conservation Society have joined forces to reduce poaching by park adjacent communities in Murchison Falls Conservation Area. This is being achieved largely through greater levels of engagement with local communities and the adoption of a partnership approach in tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
This project supports work already established under UWA’s community conservation programme, and takes lessons learnt from Tusk and UCF’s Countering Wildlife Crime project, which ran between 2016 and 2018. The project involves implementing wildlife crime action plans that focus on mitigating the costs of living near protected areas, finding alternative livelihoods opportunities and building the capacity of the UWA community conservation unit.
The major components of the project include:
- Establishing new community enterprises as a means of generating non-poaching related income and complementing the human-wildlife conflict mitigation programme. These enterprises are focused on poaching hotspots and are linked to wildlife scout households and include bee/chilli based approaches to deter elephant crop-raiding while providing income sources.
- Institutional strengthening and raising the profile of UWA’s Community Conservation Unit and building the capacity of park staff by supporting community conservation staff in monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of community engagement activities.