AWF Improves Conservancy Management in Uganda

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The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) last month onboarded three conservancy managers in Murchison and Kidepo as part of efforts to streamline conservancy management in Uganda. The three managers will oversee operations in Murchison Community Conservancy and Karenga Community Wildlife Conservancy Area.

Conservancy management is a focal part of the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Biodiversity for Resilience (B4R) project which kicked off in 2020. The project aims to assist communities, the Government of Uganda, and the private sector to conserve and manage biodiversity in target ecosystems for lasting environmental and economic sustainability and increased community and household resilience.

“Conservancies can only work if they are wildlife-based enterprises and only if the people can appreciate the value of wildlife. And because of this, AWF is determined to attain this from every front,” said AWF Country Director, Uganda Sudi Bamulesewa

Under the B4R project, AWF has also executed and overseen biodiversity assessments in Murchison Community Conservancy and Mburo Landscapes. The activity has, however, been halted in the Karenga Wildlife Conservation Area due to insecurity threats from cattle rustlers and will resume once security improves.

In addition, AWF has carried out a series of training workshops to upskill communities, guides, and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officers with the capacity to boost livelihoods and better manage natural resources under their care. Ten guides in Rurambira Conservancy have received hands-on training in interpretive guiding and have crowned this by forming a Guides Association to boost their bargaining power.

Additionally, 16 UWA rangers and 19 community wildlife scouts from Murchison, Kidepo, and Rurambira underwent systematic distance sampling training along the transects presided over by AWF scientists from Kenya. The training is essential in equipping the rangers and scouts with skills to determine the status of biodiversity, including plant and wildlife species present, cover, and habitat types, in the landscapes.

AWF remains committed to working with the government and the people of Uganda to realize a prosperous future for wildlife, wildlands, and people.