USAID’s Uganda Biodiversity Fund Activity
The establishment of the Uganda Biodiversity Trust Fund (UBF) was spearheaded by WCS with funding from USAID. Subsequently, starting in May 2020, USAID began funding UBF directly to further develop the organization into a sustainable entity that generates and manages to finance biodiversity conservation nationwide. The goal of this project is to ensure a strong, reputable, well-functioning, sustainable UBF that is responsive to Uganda’s conservation and natural resources management financing needs. This is achieved through three interrelated objectives:
- Strengthen UBF into an effective and efficient national conservation trust fund.
- Implement a grants program to deliver conservation impact in Uganda.
- Strengthen partnerships and coordination among national and local actors in Karamoja Region, that support locally-led, sustainable development.
This Activity has supported projects in the Albertine Rift of Western Uganda in Masindi and Kikuube, and the Karamoja area in Karenga. When we conserve biodiversity(sustainable use and management), we contribute to ensuring human health and a favorable environment for economic development. Biodiversity loss has greatly hindered access to the benefits of nature. These, and many others, are the issues surrounding biodiversity conservation that the Activity is addressing.
Implementation of interventions for alternative sources of livelihood for communities in Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) is a major aspect of the Activity. These include facilitating communities around the KBA with biodiversity-friendly enterprise development and value addition, to encourage a business approach to conservation and hence reducing the pressure on natural resources like forests and wetlands. UBF also upscaled the Resilience Fund approach that was piloted under previous USAID funding. This approach enables communities to develop business enterprises that contribute to co-existence with wildlife, thus minimizing Human-Wildlife-Conflict.
So far, this project has awarded grants to four sub-grantees including three in the mid-Albertine and one in the Karamoja Region. The process to fund four more projects, focused on the Karenga CWA in Karamoja, was ongoing as of November 2022.