The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has a cross cutting program that aims to develop and test initiatives to tackle four key challenges to the long term conservation of the landscapes where we work: a)natural resource extraction; b) interaction of human livelihoods,sustainable development, and conservation projects; c) wildlife health; and d) climate change. WCS has pioneered approaches around the World that have successfully developed models on how to address these four challenges which have been replicated as a result at other sites. Within each of these challenges there is a subset of specific issues for which initiatives need to be developed. For instance under natural resource extraction WCS has developed initiatives that deal with large scale timber extraction, mining for minerals,oil and gas exploration and development, bushmeat hunting and wildlife trade,and fisheries at our landscapes and seascapes around the World.
In Uganda we are focusing our efforts on the following initiatives:
Natural Resource Extraction:
1. Oil development which is an emerging challenge to conservation.
2. Law enforcement and tackling wildlife crime.
3. A Human livelihoods program that aims to generate incentives to conserve
natural habitat and wildlife.
4. Connectivity planning that aims to conserve key corridors for wildlife while at
the same time helping people to improve their livelihoods.
5. Management planning with Uganda Wildlife Authority to inco-oporate the
needs of people and wildlife.
6.Our climate change program has been assessing the potential impacts of
climate change on wildlife and looking at solutions and incentives to conserve
forest such as REDD+.
In developing new initiatives we rely to a large extent on spatial planning tools and in particular Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS Analyses can help plan the most cost effective corridors or routes for oil pipelines, they also allow assessments of habitat use by landscape species and can be used to help prioritize conservation activities.