Grants to the total value of € 368, 939 have been awarded to five organisations in Uganda by the EU to address biodiversity conservation needs.
The European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) have made funds available through the IUCN Save Our Species African Wildlife Initiative and the BIOPAMA Action Component (AC), both managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the severe loss of income for many protected areas and biodiversity projects, IUCN Save Our Species and the BIOPAMA AC opened a special call for proposals within both of these mechanisms to alleviate impacts caused specifically through the pandemic.
€ 4 million were made available as Rapid Action Grants under IUCN Save Our Species to help address impacts from COVID-19 on the conservation of terrestrial or freshwater species in continental Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar.
Another € 2 million were made available through the BIOPAMA Rapid Response Grants to address impacts of COVID-19 in and around protected areas in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.
Three of the five grantees in Uganda through IUCN Save Our Species and BIOPAMA are implementing a range of activities to alleviate the impacts of Covid-19, including diversifying livelihoods to absorb the loss of tourism income, implementing health protocols and monitoring to protect gorillas, and clearing invasive species to secure rhino habitat.
The Environmental Governance Institute (EGI), Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) and the Rhino Fund Uganda are implementing these activities in and around Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Two of the projects supported with EU funds through IUCN Save Our Species are longer-term projects, not directly linked to COVID-19 impacts.
Ecological Trends Alliance (ETA) aims to fight against lion persecution in Queen Elizabeth National Park, while the Snares to Wares Initiative transforms wire snares taken from Murchison Falls National Park into sculptures that not only generate alternative revenue opportunities for local communities, but also shine a spotlight on illegal poaching practices.
“Many of the threats facing biodiversity and protected areas have been exacerbated following the COVID-19 Pandemic. But we have also seen greater appreciation of nature and the importance of conservation. Working together with various stakeholders including local communities IUCN is confident that we will develop more resilient ecosystems for the benefit of nature and people,” says Luther Anukur, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“These response activities are key to address conservation and wildlife protection in these very difficult times plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attilio Pacifici, head of the delegation of the European Union to Uganda.