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Tackling Human-Wildlife Conflict In Uganda In Order To Improve Attitudes To Ape Conservation
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Tackling Human-Wildlife Conflict In Uganda In Order To Improve Attitudes To Ape Conservation



Panta Kasoma, Executive Director for the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda, outlines the problems related to human-wildlife conflict in Uganda and gives specific examples of approaches to reducing ...

Panta Kasoma, Executive Director for the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda, outlines the problems related to human-wildlife conflict in Uganda and gives specific examples of approaches to reducing human-ape conflict that are having some success. He gave this presentation at the ‘Linking Great Ape Conservation with Poverty Alleviation’ workshop hosted by CIFOR in January 2012.



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Tackling Human-Wildlife Conflict In Uganda In Order To Improve Attitudes To Ape Conservation Tackling Human-Wildlife Conflict In Uganda In Order To Improve Attitudes To Ape Conservation Presentation Transcript

  • OUTLINE• Uganda• JGI• Policy and legal framework for wildlife management including HWC• Approaches to reducing conflict• Specific examples of interventions to reduce human-great ape conflict  Education and awareness  Ecotourism  Livelihood support  Research  Other activities• Challenges
  • THE COUNTRY• Uganda is a landlocked country in Eastern Africa. It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by the newly independent South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the second largest in the world, which is also shared by Kenya and Tanzania.• Total area is just over 241,000 sq km and population is about 33 million. This has grown from 4.8 million people in 1950; and 24.3 million in 2002. The average annual growth rate is about 3.5%. This implies that Uganda has a very young population, with a median age of 15 years.
  • The Country cont’d• Uganda is one of the worlds poorest countries.• In spite of high GDP growth rates recorded in recent years, most of the population, which is about 87% rural, lives in poverty.• Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the workforce.• The country possesses substantial natural resources like fertile soils, regular rainfall, and some mineral resources including the recently discovered oil in the Albertine Rift.
  • THE JANE GOODALL INSTITUTE The Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife “Wouldn’t it be terrible if our closest Conservation, Research and relatives disappeared during our Education (founded 1977) watch? It doesn’t have to happen. The key is to understand that a viable What began with Dr. Jane Goodall’s future for wild chimpanzees can’t be pioneering work at Gombe Stream achieved without helping the Reserve in Tanzania in 1960, has grown struggling human communities over the years into a global not-for-profit around them. And, that long-term organisation with activities including: change in Africa and elsewhere, won’t happen without engaging youth all over the world. These connections are Chimpanzee research at the heart of JGI’s work on behalf of Forest conservation people, animals and the Primate protection environment.” Community-centered conservation Public education and advocacy Educating and inspiring youth – Dr. Jane Goodall
  • JGI UGANDA Mission To maintain a stable and viable chimpanzee population in all major forest blocks in Uganda, living in peaceful co-existence with local communities.
  • JGI-UGANDA AND PCLG• The Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda was selected by local stakeholders last year, to coordinate activities of the local chapter of the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group.• As JGI has the chimpanzee as the main focal species, the organisation’s activities tend to concentrate on areas with chimp habitats.• However the Mission of the Learning Group is much broader and is aimed at promoting better understanding of the links between conservation and poverty in order to improve conservation and poverty policy and practice.
  • Main Threats to Chimp Conservation In Uganda Poverty Poverty and environmental degradation are linked in a vicious circle in which a significant percentage of the population cannot afford to take proper care of the environmentHigh population growth ratesExpanding numbers of humanpopulation leading to settlements andconversion of forest areas and bushland into agricultural and pastoral land
  • • The encroachment into habitats previously occupied by great apes increases conflict between humans and the great apes.• Humans often respond by trapping and killing the apes.• Sometimes, humans set snares in ape habitats to trap other species such as bush pigs, duikers and other small antelopes. These pose a threat to chimpanzees and other non-target species.
  • POLICY AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK FORWILDLIFE MANAGEMENT IN UGANDA• Uganda has a fairly comprehensive policy and legal framework governing the management of wildlife.• For example, the 1995 Constitution confers over government (national and local), the role of trustee for all natural resources including wildlife for all citizens.• The current Wildlife Policy recognises that Problem animals (including vermin), can cause damage to human life and property. It also recognises that land-use changes and the consequences of population pressure have led to a decrease in land and other resources available for wildlife resulting in an increase in human-wildlife conflicts.• The policy, while divesting management of vermin to local governments, also recognises the inadequate capacity at that level to do it effectively.
  • POLICY AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK CONT’D• Some of the guiding principles of the policy are that:  Problem animals/vermin are widespread and in general the best approach in respect to control is to minimise the damage they cause.  Where problem animals/vermin have an economic value, the realisation of that value (and therefore sustainable use) should be encouraged• The Wildlife Act vests the Uganda Wildlife Authority with the mandate to monitor and control problem animals and provide technical advice on the control of vermin.
  • APPROACHES TO REDUCING HUMAN-APECONFLICT IN UGANDA• The IUCN Best Practice Guidelines summarise the major possible interventions that could be used to reduce conflict between humans and great apes.• In Uganda the following interventions have been tried out with variable success:  Guarding (S.W. and W. Uganda)  Use of scare crows (W. Uganda)  Use of live hedges (S.W. Uganda)  Creation of buffer zones (S.W. Uganda)  Adoption of alternative crops (W. Uganda)  Chasing (HUGO) (S.W. Uganda)
  • Selected interventions to reduce human-apeconflict• Education and Awareness  A lack of understanding of the biology and behaviour of great apes by humans often exacerbates conflict with apes.  Programs of education and awareness are undertaken by various agencies, government and non-government to improve the understanding of wildlife, including apes. The JGI, for example has forest education centres in Kalinzu and Budongo that conduct regular programs for local schools. Various biological research field stations such as Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS), Makerere University Field Station(MUBFS) and Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) also carry out various forms of education and awareness activities in proximity to their locations.
  • • Ecotourism  According to TIES (1990) ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”.  We believe that when tourism is used to improve the welfare of local people, they will be better appreciative of the value of wildlife and hence less hostile to incursions on their land by wildlife. The Uganda Wildlife Authority runs programs based on gorilla tourism in Bwindi NP and chimpanzee tourism in Queen Elizabeth and Kibale NPs. The National Forestry Authority also has chimpanzee-based tourism in Kalinzu and Budongo Central Forest Reserves.  Although the effectiveness of these programs in reducing conflict between humans and the apes has not been exhaustively assessed, circumstantial evidence indicates greater tolerance by communities in those areas where there is tourism.
  • Interventions cont’d: Budongo, Bulindi andBwindi
  • • Livelihood support  Tolerance to ape incursions into farmers’ fields may be enhanced by extending various forms of support to these farmers. In a project the JGI is implementing in Hoima District with CIDA support, seven villages have been provided with boreholes/protected springs; training in improved land use and construction of energy-saving stoves and selected farmers have been provided with small livestock and/or beehives. This is combined with environmental education. Village tree nurseries have also been established and a local CBO established to replant two degraded riverine forests.
  • Bugoma-Wambabya Sustainable Livelihoods Project
  • • Research An unintended consequence of the presence of research sites such as ITFC, BCFS and MUBFS is that research assistants are often recruited from nearby villages who spread information and awareness to their peers when they return to the villages. Research sites also often gather information on conflict situations in their vicinity, leading to rapid intervention by management agencies. ITFC has recently undertaken a study to establish the perception of local people towards various human-wildlife conflict interventions and why communities are slow to own and embrace them. The results of this study are expected to improve conflict resolution mechanisms. Organisations such as Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) gather data on the gorilla-human disease interface and have undertaken interventions to improve people and livestock health which has led to a better appreciation of gorillas and their importance amongst communities near Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • • OTHER ACTIVITIES Veterinary interventions: The Jane Goodall Institute often undertakes, on behalf of UWA, interventions to rescue distressed chimpanzees. In such instances, the local community is normally around to see the impact of some of their activities such as setting of snares and man-traps. This is used as an opportunity to spread awareness. e.g. the “mugu moja” incident has resulted in reporting of four man traps to JGI/BCFS since it happened. Snare Removal programme: JGI and partner organisations such as the Kalinzu Forest Project, Kibale Snare Removal Programme and BCFS undertake snare removal. Personnel used are from the community, often former hunters and they spread word about the impact of snares on the chimpanzee community.
  • CHALLENGES• The Uganda Wildlife Authority (Mugote 2011) and others have identified key challenges to proper implementation of human- wildlife conflict interventions. They include: Increasing land-use change at the expense of wildlife habitat. Lack of adequate community involvement. Inadequate resources for PAM. Inadequate sensitisation and awareness to communities. Inadequate monitoring of problem animals to establish factors such as seasonality, movement patterns, target crops etc. Perception by communities that they do not benefit from wildlife. Failure by most districts to establish problem animal control units.