The Charity

Well here goes, this is all about us and what we do...

The Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) is the first and only UK based charity to focus on Ugandan conservation after years of extreme civil conflict and poaching. We aim to conserve and preserve the natural environment and the fauna and flora in Eastern Africa, particularly in Uganda.
The operation of the Uganda Conservation Foundation (Registered Charity No: 1087295) is governed by the deed made on the 8th May, 2001. The operation of the Uganda Conservation (U) Ltd is governed by the incorporation made on the 3rd September, 2003.

Areas of Interest
Working as a support to various government and private bodies wherever possible, our main areas of interest are as follows:

  • To encourage, stimulate and support efforts in the betterment, recovery and future security of Uganda's wildlife, natural resources and environment.
  • To unite the needs of the Uganda people with that of conservation and development objectives for the benefit of both.
  • To collaborate, co-operate and support other agencies and organizations with mutual objectives, although focus on areas receiving little or no NGO emphasis.
  • To help provide practical support to conserve and revitalize areas of natural habitat and improve 'urban' areas for benefit of wildlife and communities.
  • To be involved in long term, proactive, realistic and practical projects, especially those that provide the opportunity of advancing Uganda's capability and prospects through employment, education, activities and research.

Funding and Support
The charity is entirely dependent on private donations and the co-operation of our sponsors. All funds are managed by the Trustees and Board of Directors. For more information on how to donate click here.
More details for the Charity, including the financial history and annual reports, may be found on the Charity Commission website by clicking here.

Applications
We are currently directing resources to projects in Uganda. As the foundation develops, we will be expanding our project base. The Foundation only operates within the broad field of conservation and as such, this does not include areas of medicine and health. Also excluded are projects concerning museums, churches, cathedrals and other historic sites, buildings and monuments.

Our Founder
Michael Keigwin designed and put into action the project known as Elephants, Crops and People ( ECP), Uganda in 1998 and later founded the Uganda Conservation Foundation.
Michael was born and educated in England, but members of his family had had links with East Africa dating back to the 1890s. During the 1960s his uncle, Richard Onslow was a Park Warden of Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. When Michael was 15 he went to Kenya with a team from Pangbourne College to build water catchment tanks, a subsurface dam and additional buildings for maternity facilities in an encroachment village. It was during this period that he learned about the needs and vulnerabilities of isolated communities and the importance of community participation and self-help as well as the impact that such encroachment villages have on the environment.

After University he left England and joined a project in Uganda to do a biodiversity study. However, due to internal conflicts in the area, the study was curtailed though Michael stayed in Uganda. He was approached to take on a study of the elephants in the Semiliki area in Western Uganda. After a feasibility study, it became abundantly evident that this was not a viable project and that the last thing the remaining elephants in that region needed, was to be followed by a researcher. They needed security and to be left alone. On reporting this, he was then asked if he would look into elephant research in alternative areas.

This was when he became acutely aware of the lack of support reaching the general conservation bodies in Uganda and their paramount need for such support. He realized that help was required to try and make it possible for Uganda's wildlife to recover after decades of poaching and abuse following the Amin and Obote regimes. After extensive feasibility studies carried out in conjunction with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the local communities, Queen Elizabeth National Park was selected with the specific focus on the south where there was little, if any, up to date knowledge of the status and threats to the elephants. So, the Elephants, Crops and People project was born and still continues today to work on these issues of Southern QE.

Soon after the ECP Project was up and running, Michael realised that a more permanent and transparent body was required in order to provide a secure conduit for international, as well as national funds, to conservation and wildlife management bodies in Uganda. He founded the Uganda Conservation Foundation.