The Wildlife Conservation Society, Forest Trends and Biotope have commenced a four-year project (2016-2019) which aims to reconcile economic development in Africa with conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This project is funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM) and the Mava Foundation. It will build capacity to reduce the impacts of development projects on biodiversity. The project will work with governments, developers and industry to expand and improve the application of the mitigation hierarchy in Uganda and three other African nations.
Uganda is undergoing rapid development and investment in projects across the country, particularly around Kampala and in the west of the country in the Albertine Graben. Transport infrastructure is being upgraded in many areas for relieving urban congestion around Kampala and linking towns and industry. Hydropower capacity is being upgraded to meet new development needs: the Isimba Project on the Nile is an example of a project that is being built close to an existing hydropower site at Bujagali. Exploration for oil & gas across the west of the country has indicated commercially viable reserves and production will be implemented soon. A pipeline is planned to export this oil to the coast through Tanzania. There is increasing demand for industrial agriculture such as sugar cane, maize and livestock ranching in the Karamoja region. Uganda’s population already exerts a high demand on natural resources, including charcoal, fisheries and bushmeat, and the population is growing at a rate of >3% per annum.
The COMBO Project aims to aid Uganda in addressing these pressures on Uganda’s biodiversity and other natural resources by: aiding development of improved policy and regulations based on best practice; improve use of data for planning by building on existing data sources and improving access; supporting operationalization of Uganda’s Biodiversity Trust Fund; working with development projects and partners to document case studies of mitigation activities; and building national capacity by training and use of lessons learnt from Uganda and elsewhere.