DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
Wildlife Conservation Department is one of the three Departments that constitute the Directorate of Tourism, Wildlife and Museums and Monuments.
(a) The Wildlife Conservation sector draws its mandate from the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995:- National objectives and directive principles of State policy XXIII and XXVII; Articles 39 and 189(1); and Uganda Wildlife Act (Cap 200) of the laws of Uganda.
(b) The mandate of the Department is derived from the Recommendations of the Restructuring Report of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, 1995 and Ministry of Tourism,Trade and Industry functional analysis report 2006, section 3.8.2. The Department is mandated with Policy formulation, National planning, Inspection and Coordination of the Wildlife sector.
FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT
(a) To initiate the formulation, Monitoring and Evaluation of implementation of policies, national plans, legislation, guidelines, and strategies on Conservation and development of Wildlife resources, and provide appropriate and timely advice to Government.
(b) To collect, compile, analyze, corroborate and disseminate strategic data and information on Conservation and development of Wildlife resources, to guide national decision making on the sector at all levels.
(c) To initiate and coordinate development of service standards, and enforcement of these for quality assurance on Conservation and development of Wildlife resources.
(d) To identify areas of intervention, coordinate and oversee mainstreaming of issues of Conservation and development of Wildlife resources into Local Governments’ Plans, Programs and Activities in support of poverty reduction and national development goals.
(e) To identify areas of intervention, coordinate and oversee mainstreaming of issues of Conservation and Development of Wildlife resources into Plans, Programs and Activities of other sectors of Government.
(f) To identify, coordinate, promote and support private sector led economic activity programs on Conservation and development of Wildlife resources; with linkages that directly contribute to poverty eradication and overall national development.
(g) To identify factors critical to the sector performance, initiate and coordinate strategic interventions to sustain the current performance and the associated positive social economic and environmental impacts.
(h) To coordinate and prepare technical sector draft position papers for development of sector national strategies and/or programs on species, ecosystems and habitats of conservation concern.
(i) To coordinate and ensure formulation and enforcement of regulations on international Conventions, Treaties and Agreements under the Wildlife Conservation sector.
(j) To Inspect and oversee operations of the statutory and affiliated bodies (Trust Organizations) under the Conservation and development of wildlife resources Sector
INSTITUTIONS OVERSEEN BY THE DEPARTMENT
Uganda Wildlife Authority
This is a statutory body established by the Uganda Wildlife Act Cap 200 of 2000. It’s mandated with conservation and sustainable management of wildlife and the protected areas of Uganda in partnership with neighboring communities and other stakeholders for the benefit of the people of Uganda and the global community.
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC)
This is a programme institution created by a Trust Deed in accordance with the laws of Uganda in 1994 inheriting property and functions of former Entebbe Zoo. It is mandated with provision of Wildlife Conservation Education and awareness and also serves as the CITES wild animals Rescue Centre for Uganda. Government decided to transform the Centre from a Trust organization to a fully-fledged statutory body. A bill to this effect is now before Parliament.
Bwindi and Mgahinga Conservation Trust (BMCT)
This was established in March 1995, under the Uganda Trustees Act, with a capital endowment of US $ 4.3 million from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), administered by the World Bank. It is mandated with ensuring that the biodiversity and ecosystem of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP) and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) renowned for their most captivating gorilla trekking safari activities are conserved in harmony with development needs of the surrounding communities. The Trust Management Board has the legal and fiduciary (Trustee) responsibility to ensure that the proceeds of the Trust are used to meet the objectives articulated in the Trust Deed
Uganda Wildlife Training Institute (UWTI)
This was established by the Uganda Wildlife Training Institute Statute, 1996 under the former Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. UWTI was transferred to the Ministry of Education and Sports in August 1998 subsequently the UWTI Statute was repealed by the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001 under the Ministry of Education and Sports. Recently, the Presidential Investors Round Table (PIRT) recommended the transfer of UWTI back to MTTI (now MTWA) where it belongs. This recommendation was followed by a directive from the office of the Prime Minister-which was implemented in December 2008. The Institute is now undergoing transformation to become Uganda Wildlife Research and Training Institute. This will enable capacity development for wildlife research in Uganda. The bill to this effect is also before Parliament.
Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT)
This is a programme institution that was established as a combined national and international initiative and a globally recognized collaborative conservation effort, geared towards developing and implementing a long-term strategy for conservation of chimpanzees and their habitats.
The Rhino Fund Uganda
This was established as a public private partnership initiative with the overall aim of re-introducing Rhinos in Uganda. The Fund manages the Rhino Sanctuary which is undertaking breeding for reintroduction of Rhinos into the wild.
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS IMPLEMENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT
The Department is in charge of implementation of several Conventions relating to wildlife conservation to which Uganda is a member. The Department is
(a) The Uganda’s Management Authority for the Convention on International Trade in endangered species of fauna and flora (CITES)
(b) National focal point for the Convention on Migratory Species of wild animals (CMS)
(c) Uganda’s focal point for the Lusaka Agreement on the Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed against Illegal trade in fauna.
(d) National focal point for African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)
(e) Uganda’s focal point for the International Gorilla Agreement and we are in the process of acceding to it.