Strengthening anti-Poaching Techniques and Countering Wildlife trafficking

IN SUMMARY

The Strengthening anti-poaching techniques and countering wildlife trafficking in Uganda project is addressing critical capacity gaps within the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and other security and law enforcement agencies to combat illegal wildlife trade. Since the inception of this project in mid-2019, WCS has provided and continues to provide technical support, equipment, infrastructure and training to UWA to combat local and international wildlife crime. This project is also intended to enhance cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation among security and law enforcement agencies through the newly formed National Wildlife Crime Coordination Task Force (NWCCTF) which is led by UWA. Thanks to our donors the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund of the Government of the United Kingdom for making this project possible.

PROJECT OUTCOME

THE CHALLENGES WE ARE ADDRESSING

The major impediments to combating wildlife crime that this project seeks to tackle are (a) the lack of capacity and (b) the limited inter-agency coordination between UWA, the government institution mandated to protect wildlife in Uganda, and other law enforcement agencies. 

Despite the efforts to remedy wildlife crime, the government of Uganda continues to grapple with several other challenges which this project congruently addresses. Among others, these include: 
Uganda as a major trafficking routes for ivory and other wildlife products mostly originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo, West Africa and Southern. 

  • Bribery and corruption that continue to renders law enforcement efforts ineffective as well-connected networks of wildlife criminals take advantage of these loopholes to bribe their way out of prosecution.
  • High levels of poaching largely driven by poverty and unemployment among communities residing near the national parks.
  • Human wildlife conflict which is exacerbated by the increased human settlements on park-adjacent land due to the rapidly rising human population. HWC is also a driver of wildlife crime
  • The rising demand for wildlife products both locally and internationally where illegal wildlife markets offer hefty prices for these products
  • The proliferation of weapons across borders that are used for poaching and other IWT related crimes.

OUR APPROACH 

Our approach is hinged on the three core WCS institutional conservation strategies: to Discover, to Protect and to Inspire.

We leverage our long history of working with UWA in the spheres of information collection and research for better conservation decision making and build on the hard work of other players and partners in the effort to combat IWT to create a lasting dent in the wildlife crime networks. 

Considering Asia’s role as a key destination for contraband wildlife products, this project benefits from the knowledge and experience from our WCS China programme to understand the dynamics of IWT networks both locally and internationally.

We recognize the impact of IWT on vulnerable park adjacent communities and their contribution toward combating wildlife crime. As such, we strive to improve livelihoods and reduce human-wildlife-conflict by promoting activities that encourage the participation of women, men, youth and the elderly among park-adjacent communities and community wildlife scouts to improve.

KEY MILESTONES

To this point in time, the project has registered some key milestones, among which are the following:

  • We supported the government of Uganda to complete the institutional arrangements for the running of the NWCCTF and its eventual inauguration on the 11th of February 2020.
  • We supported the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities to develop the National Strategy to Combat Poaching, Illegal Trade and Trafficking of Wildlife and Wildlife Products. The strategy has been approved by the Board of Directors and is due for printing
  • We have trained the NWCCTF in counter IWT and anti-trafficking law enforcement operations including CITES implementation framework.
  • We conducted training of UWA staff in the use of the offenders’ database and updated the database in the protected areas with the most recent data records of wildlife seizure, arrests, prosecutions and sentences.
  • Trained community wildlife scouts in HWC mitigation in two locations known to be HWC hotspots around Karuma Wildlfe Reserve in Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
  • We conducted a feasibility study of beekeeping in Diima and Nyamahasa parishes in Kiryandondo district. Following this study, we trained community based beekeeping groups comprising of both men and women of different age groups in modern beekeeping and provided 300 Kenya Top Bar (KTB) hives and other equipment as inputs.

FEATURED PARTNERS

UKaid                              Uganda Wildlife Authority                   Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities               NWCCTF

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Key Staff

Simon Takozekibi Nampindo
Country Director WCS Uganda
Geoffrey Mwedde
IWT and Wildlife Trafficking Projects Manager

Project Contacts

WCS Uganda
Plot 802 Kiwafu Road, Kansanga. P.O Box 7487, Kampala - Uganda
+256 (0)392 000 381 | Mobile: +256(0)772226003