The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has supported the development of wildlife-based conservancies across Africa. 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), Murchison Falls, and Kidepo Valley National Parks (LMNP, MFNP, and KVNP) respectively.
The development of wildlife conservancies in Africa takes careful planning, deep engagement with communities, capacity building and formation of new partnerships. AWF provided technical guidance and support in the conservancies governance structures development (the Executive, the Constitution, Business plan and ecological assessment and management plans). However, considerable work remains to advance these conservancies, each of which faces a unique suite of challenges and opportunities.
AWF is currently implementing a five-year USAID-funded Biodiversity for Resilience activity in partnership with RTI, CTPH and Viamo which activity is building on the work that was initiated during the previous Bridge Program that focused on Conservancy development. One of the key roles AWF is to strengthen the governance structures within the three conservancies of Rurambira, Murchison Community Conservancy and Karenga Community Wildlife Area (KCWA).
AWF is now seeking to hire a consultant-surveyor service with experience in surveying to support the process of acquisition and finalizing approval of land leases for individual landowners in Conservancies.