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Conservancy Expert

  • Uganda
  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has supported the development of wildlife-based conservancies across Africa. Given Uganda did not have conservancies, in 2014, AWF proposed the concepts of conservancies to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) as a means of expanding habitat protection, diversifying tourism experiences, and engaging landowners and communities directly in wildlife conservation through conservancies. UWA was very supportive of the idea and as a result AWF initiated, in partnership with UWA, the piloting of three conservancies in landscapes surrounding Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP), Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP), and Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP).

Each of the conservancies vary in size and land tenure. AWF has completed ecological assessments for the conservancies, developed conservancy constitutions amongst the relevant communities and landowners in two focal areas on the boundaries of Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo National Parks, and developed a land use plan for Karenga and Lobalangit sub-counties, in the Kidepo Valley landscape. A market analysis was done in Lake Mburo and a general management plan.

In addition, in partnership with UWA, AWF supported the drafting of conservancy development guidelines for the country, which await revision and approval by the UWA Board of Trustees. In addition, AWF invited UWA staff to a conservancy workshop in Nairobi that included case studies from 10 African countries looking at the economic, ecological, and social viability of conservancies.

The development of wildlife conservancies in Africa takes careful planning, deep engagement with communities, capacity building, and formation of new partnerships. Considerable work remains to advance these conservancies, each of which faces a unique suite of challenges and opportunities. AWF is embarking on a one-year program to support the continued development of these conservancies in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

AWF is seeking a Conservancy Expert to work with AWF field staff, country staff, and technical advisors from AWF headquarters in Nairobi who have experience developing conservancies.

Outcomes

Over the next year, the primary outcomes necessary to support the continued growth of the conservancy model in Uganda and the viability of the three conservancies are to:

  • Establish viable governance structures in the three conservancies.
  • Develop and implement management and business plans that put the conservancies on a path to ecological and financial viability.
  • Engage existing and/or new private sector partners in the conservancies.
  • Identify and establish businesses that will support the development and management of conservancies and provide benefits to landowners.
  • Secure the approval of and facilitate the adoption of the Uganda conservancy development guidelines by UWA, the private sector, and communities to encourage the growth of the conservancy model.
Karenga Community Wildlife Area (KCWA) south of Kidepo Valley National Park

AWF, UWA and the Counties developed a land use plan for the Karenga and Lobalangit sub-counties section in the Kidepo Valley area, representing about 370km sq. of the 956km sq. area. KCWA is located across five districts, all of which need to be engaged to strengthen the resilience of the entire landscape — for wildlife and people. The establishment of a governance structure engaging the districts is a necessary first step toward the establishment of the conservancy. The following activities are proposed:

  • Establish and build capacity of governance structure for KCWA that engages all five districts.
  • Develop a KCWA-wide management plan focusing on ecological and financial sustainability.
  • Identify a private sector partner to establish a tourism facility.
Murchison Aswa Falls Conservancy (MAFC) north of Murchison Falls National Park

AWF, working closely with UWA, raised awareness about the benefits of conservancies by landowners in this area and made progress toward the establishment of a conservancy. Landowners elected an interim committee to advance the development of a conservancy. The committee, with support from AWF, developed a constitution which was reviewed and approved by the general meeting of landowners at the end of May 2017. To date, over 50 landowners have signed on to be part of the conservancy. AWF completed a baseline ecological survey and a market analysis informing the conservancy development. The following activities are proposed:

  • Strengthen the governance structure for Murchison Aswa Falls Conservancy.
  • Confirm land ownership for all conservancy participants.
  • Develop a management plan for MAFC that plans for ecological and financial sustainability.
  • Select and train a small initial group of community scouts.
  • Engage private sector partners in the conservancy.
Rurambira Conservancy east of Lake Mburo National Park
  • The Rurambira Conservancy neighboring LMNP has a constitution and a management plan. The following activities are proposed:
  • Development of a business plan and benefit sharing model
  • Negotiate private sector partnerships.
  • Support landowners to improve their pasture and livestock health

Experience

AWF is seeking a consultant to help guide the development of the three conservancies. This will require field visits, facilitation of meetings, and provision to AWF staff of conservancy best practices. The following are required:

  • Experience developing wildlife conservancies in Africa.
  • Community engagement experience.
  • Experience in establishing transparent and equitable governance structures.
  • Deep familiarity with conservancy best practices.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Ability to work with a diversity of stakeholders: community, government, local staff.

Timeframe

AWF is seeking a Conservancy Expert to provide 10 days per quarter from April 2018-March 2019.

Bids

Please submit a letter of interest, CV, and proposal to AWF by 15 April 2018 to:

Kathleen H. Fitzgerald
Vice President AWF East and Southern Africa
[email protected]

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