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