The Uganda Wildlife Authority is a Ugandan Government agency responsible for the management and protection of Wildlife in and outside protected areas. The agency is supervised by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. The Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019 establishes the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) with a mandate of managing the country’s wildlife resources inside and outside Protected Areas (PAs). UWA’s mission is to “conserve, economically develop and sustainably manage wildlife and protected areas of Uganda in partnership with the neighbouring communities and stakeholders for the benefit of the people of Uganda and the global community”.
Uganda is endowed with a high density and rich diversity of both animal and plant species. Over 18,783 species of fauna and flora have been recorded in Uganda (NEMA, 2009). The high density and diversity of species is found both inside and outside protected areas. However, this diversity is under threat from poaching, encroachment, habitat degradation and loss, human-wildlife conflicts and climate change among others. The underlying root causes include rapid human population growth, increasing demand for agriculture and human settlement and poverty.
Uganda ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in September 1993 ushering in a new direction and momentum for further development of environmental and conservation activities, involving people participation, promoting government and private sector cooperation at all levels. UWA has over the years implemented numerous conservation and development programmes with the aim of securing the protection of the country’s wildlife resources and gain local community and other stakeholders’ support. One of the key conservation programmes implemented by UWA is Community Conservation (CC), a broad term used to describe implementation of programmes and activities that involve interaction with local communities living adjacent to protected areas. The programmes include education and awareness, human-wildlife conflict resolution, benefit sharing and collaborative management, among others. The implementation of Community Conservation programmes is aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence of local communities and wildlife by minimising conflicts, creating awareness, enhancing benefits and attaining appreciation and support for wildlife conservation.