UWA recognizes the local community as a key stakeholder in ensuring the protection of wildlife both inside and outside Uganda’s protected areas. Traditional conservation approaches largely excluded the communities from protected area management. In contrast, community conservation, which has been employed since the 1990s, aims to harmonize the relationship between park managers and neighboring communities, allowing these communities access to protected area resources. It also encourages dialogue and local community participation in planning for and management of these resources. UWA’s Community Conservation Unit implements a number of activities, some of which are detailed below:
Conservation Education and Awareness
This program aims to raise awareness of the value of conservation and how communities can both participate in and benefit from it. In order to facilitate visits by school children and organized groups to some of the parks, low cost accommodation has been created to enable pupils to spend a weekend viewing and learning about wildlife. Facilities currently exist in Lake Mburo Conservation Area, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls Conservation Area and Mt. Elgon National Park.
Communities have regulated access to some key resources that may not be found outside the protected areas, such as medicinal herbs; papyrus and vines for handcrafts; fish; firewood; bamboo; bee hives; and water access in the dry season or drought.
Wildlife User Rights
See the Uganda Wildlife Act for more information.