Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is a semi-autonomous government agency that conserves and manages Uganda’s wildlife for the people of Uganda and the global community. This agency was established in 1996 after the merger of the Uganda National Parks and the Game Department, and the enactment of the Uganda Wildlife Statute, which became an Act in 2000. UWA is mandated to ensure sustainable management of wildlife resources and supervise wildlife activities in Uganda both within and outside the protected areas.
With 10 national parks and 12 wildlife reserves under its jurisdiction, UWA’s role in managing the country’s tourism industry and attracting investors to the sector has been a significant one. It also manages five community wildlife management areas and 13 wildlife sanctuaries. The challenges facing the management and conservation of wildlife and biodiversity in Uganda are myriad, and they include poaching, competition in the regional tourism market, human wildlife conflict and wildlife crimes.
Stakeholders, partners and communities that live around these protected areas have been employed to help tackle some of these issues. The organisation has also developed strategies within its management policies to help solve some of these challenges.
- UWA includes a community conservation unit, which takes responsibility for revenue sharing, problem animal control, resource access, collaborative management and conservation education.
- A lot of chimpanzee habitats lie outside of protected areas and UWA are exploring mechanisms for incentivising their protection – e.g. through carbon finance.
- The tourism revenue sharing scheme shares 20% of park entry fees with local communities, intended to contribute to development and reduce conflict with the parks.