Uganda is rebuilding fast following decades of political upheaval. The wildlife and wild places are slowly recovering but the pressure on natural resources, in a country with the world’s third highest human population growth rate, is immense.
Achieving the balance – between human development and wildlife and habitat conservation – is critical. This is precisely the aim of the Uganda Conservation Foundation.
“Gifted by Nature” Uganda captivates everyone who visits through her incredible collection of animals, birds and plants – even insects – inhabiting her lakes and rivers, mountains, savannah and dense, though rapidly diminishing, forests.
Why and how was UCF established?
UCF was set up to help previously war-stricken, heavily poached, high biodiversity regions in Uganda and Central Africa. Over the past 40 years, severe poaching across Uganda had killed all the rhino and most of the once famed herds of elephants that gave the country the reputation of having the most mega-herbivores per km² in Africa.
UCF evolved from a research project called Elephants, Crops and People undertaken by Michael Keigwin in the 1990s in which he witnessed at first hand the daily battle for survival of people and wildlife alike. This led to the birth of the Uganda Conservation Foundation, UK Charity No: 1087295, its sister non profit making company in Uganda and conservation relationships in the USA.
In the decade since then, UCF has earned a reputation for being a proactive organisation. We strive to make every penny, dime or shilling count and, in 2009, 90% of our funding was turned directly into conservation in action.
Working with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), UCF seeks to sensitise communities and demonstrate through practical projects how financial benefits can be gained from conservation.
Are elephants the real targets of this wire snare?
Poacher snares are indiscriminate, entrap a wide variety of animals and lead to a slow death. The new UCF-funded ranger accommodation will facilitate UWA rangers removing possibly thousands of these deadly snares from the 400km2 Dura sector, an inaccessible wilderness that was once home to abundant wildlife.
To read more about UCF’s ambitious plans for recovery of this critical area click here
How do you get poachers to change their lifestyle?
One of the bonuses for this team of ex-poachers – employed by UCF – was catching a free dinner!
UCF employed 25 ex-poachers to clear 100m2 of dense Papyrus to make way for our new marine ranger station on Lake George. Offering alternative livelihoods is just one way UCF and UWA are combating poaching.
What's making Michael and Tom so happy?
Why is Patrick dancing?
The Kikarara villagers are so delighted with the success of the trench in protecting them and their crops from invading elephants that they welcomed us with songs and dancing. Praise indeed.
Read how the elephant trench is improving local children’s education.
|Villagers have now dug over 30 kilometres of trench by hand. Has this stopped the elephants?
Trenches and fencing are just two of the solutions UCF has been using to protect villagers from the destructive force of elephant crop raids.