CBD Programme work in Uganda

E-mail Print PDF
Article Index
CBD Programme work in Uganda
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
All Pages

CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas

The CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (CBD-POWPA) was adopted during COP 7 in February 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Decision VII/28). The overall purpose of the programme of work on protected areas is to support the establishment and maintenance by 2010 for terrestrial and by 2012 for marine areas of comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional systems of protected areas that collectively, inter alia through a global network contribute to achieving the three objectives of the Convention and to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels and contribute to poverty reduction and the pursuit of sustainable development, thereby supporting the objectives of the Strategic Plan of the Convention, the World Summit on Sustainable Development Plan of Implementation and the Millennium Development Goals

The programme of work consists of four interlinked elements intended to be mutually reinforcing and cross-cutting in their implementation. The programme of work is intended to assist Parties in establishing national programmes of work with targeted goals, actions, specific actors, time frame, inputs and expected measurable outputs. Parties may select from, adapt, and/or add to the activities suggested in the current programme of work according to particular national and local conditions and their level of development. The implementation of the programme of work will contribute to achieving the three objectives of CBD namely the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of components of biodiversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

Parties to CBD are called upon to achieve fully the goals and targets of POWPA, implement the activities of POWPA and to take further steps in curbing the illegal exploitation and trade of resources, particularly from existing protected areas and from areas of ecological importance for biodiversity conservation.

PoWPA has 4 programme elements, 16 goals and 92 associated activities. The four programme elements are: Direct actions for planning, selecting and establishing, strengthening and managing protected area systems; Governance, participation, equity and benefit sharing; Enabling activities and Standards, assessments and monitoring.


Programme Element 1: Direct actions for planning, selecting, establishing, strengthening, and managing, protected area systems and sites

Goal 1.1  To establish and strengthen national and regional systems of protected areas integrated into a global network as a contribution to globally agreed goals

Target: By 2010, terrestrially and 2012 in the marine area, a global network of comprehensive, representative and effectively managed national and regional protected area system is established as a contribution to (i) the goal of the Strategic Plan of the Convention and the World Summit on Sustainable Development of achieving a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010; (ii) the Millennium Development Goals – particularly goal 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability; and (iii) the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Uganda has made progress in this direction. The number of Ramsar sites for example increased has been increased from one to twelve. The following forest reserves were elevated to national parks to acode it more protection status: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rwenzori Mountain National Patrk, Kibaal National Park, Semiliki National Park and Mount Elgon National Park.

Goal 1.2 To integrate protected areas into broader land- and seascapes and sectors so as to maintain ecological structure and function

Target: By 2015, all protected areas and protected area systems are integrated into the wider land- and seascape, and relevant sectors, by applying the ecosystem approach and taking into account ecological connectivity/ and the concept, where appropriate, of ecological networks.

Uganda has integrated ecosystem approach in natural resources management mainly focusing on restoration of degraded ecosystems and development of community based resttoratcion action plans.

Goal 1.3 To establish and strengthen regional networks, transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) and collaboration between neighbouring protected areas across national boundaries

Target: Establish and strengthen by 2010/2012 / transboundary protected areas, other forms of collaboration between neighbouring protected areas across national boundaries and regional networks, to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, implementing the ecosystem approach, and improving international cooperation.

Uganda has established collaborative arrangement for management of trans-boundary protected area systems for example a Memorandum between the 3 Protected Area Authorities in Uganda, Rwand and DR Congo was signed in Goma in January 2004, detailing collaboration objectives of Transboundary Collaborative Management of the Central Albertine Rift(CAR). As result of this collaboration, a Strategic Plan for the Transboundary protected areas and the entire CAR landscape developed as a framework to guide this collaboration over the next ten years.

Goal 1.4 To substantially improve site-based protected area planning and management

Target: All protected areas to have effective management in existence by 2012, using participatory and science-based site planning processes that incorporate clear biodiversity objectives, targets, management strategies and monitoring programmes, drawing upon existing methodologies and a long-term management plan with active stakeholder involvement.

Stakeholders are involved in the development and implementation of management plans for protected areas.

Goal 1.5  prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of key threats to protected areas

Target: By 2008, effective mechanisms for identifying and preventing, and/or mitigating the negative impacts of key threats to protected areas are in place.

In Uganda, management plans are developed to form the basis for sound management. The management plans highlights the threats to protected areas and the interventions needed.

Programme Element 2: Governance, Participation, Equity and Benefit Sharing
Goal 2.1 To promote equity and benefit-sharing

Target: Establish by 2008 mechanisms for the equitable sharing of both costs and benefits arising from the establishment and management of protected areas.

A revenue sharing programme is place through which benefits accruing from tourism is ploughed backed to support community initiatives including infrastructure development. Collaborative forest management programme has been established and is operational. Further, Government enacted regulations on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing in 2005.

Goal 2.2  To enhance and secure involvement of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders

Target: Full and effective participation by 2008, of indigenous and local communities, in full respect of their rights and recognition of their responsibilities, consistent with national law and applicable international obligations, and the participation of relevant stakeholders, in the management of existing, and the establishment and management of new, protected areas

Stakeholders are involved in the development and implementation of management plans for protected areas. Indigenous and local communities are involved.

Programme Element 3: Enabling Activities

Goal 3.1To provide an enabling policy, institutional and socio-economic environment for protected areas

Target: By 2008 review and revise policies as appropriate, including use of social and economic valuation and incentives, to provide a supportive enabling environment for more effective establishment and management of protected areas and protected areas systems.

Most of the policies in Uganda on natural resources were developed/revised in the early 1990’s. There is need to revise them to include valuation of protected areas.

Goal 3.2 To build capacity for the planning, establishment and management of protected areas

Target: By 2010, comprehensive capacity building programmes and initiatives are implemented to develop knowledge and skills at individual, community and institutional levels, and raise professional standards.

Capacity development for management of protected areas in Uganda is on-going. However new skills need to be developed to address emerging issues such as oil and gas, climate change and REDD+ among others.

Goal 3.3 To develop, apply and transfer appropriate technologies for protected areas

Target: By 2010 the development, validation, and transfer of appropriate technologies and innovative approaches for the effective management of protected areas is substantially improved, taking into account decisions of the Conference of the Parties on technology transfer and cooperation.

The transfer of technology for management of protected areas is yet to be realized.

Goal 3.4 To ensure financial sustainability of protected areas and national and regional systems of protected areas

Target: By 2008, sufficient financial, technical and other resources to meet the costs to effectively implement and manage national and regional systems of protected areas are secured, including both from national and international sources, particularly to support the needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Uganda has received financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the management of protected area for example the PAMSU (Protected Area Management and Sustainable Use) project and the EU support for management of natural forests. Trust funds have also been established such as the Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust.

Goal 3.5  To strengthen communication, education and public awareness

Target: By 2008 public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the importance and benefits of protected areas is significantly increased. There are on-going public awareness on environment including protected area and this has helped to raise awareness on the importance of protected areas.

Programme Element 4: Standards, assessment, and monitoring

Goal 4.1 To develop and adopt minimum standards and best practices for national and regional protected area systems

Target: By 2008, standards, criteria, and best practices for planning, selecting, establishing, managing and governance of national and regional systems of protected areas are developed and adopted.

The laws on protected areas have provisions that enhance governance on protected areas. The challenge is in the implementation of the laws.

Goal 4.2  To evaluate and improve the effectiveness of protected areas management

Target: By 2010, frameworks for monitoring, evaluating and reporting protected areas management effectiveness at sites, national and regional systems, and transboundary protected area levels adopted and implemented by Parties.

There are monitoring programmes in place by UWA and NFA. The major challenge is getting adequate financial to carry out the monitoring programme on a regular basis.

Goal 4.3 To assess and monitor protected area status and trends

Target: By 2010, national and regional systems are established to enable effective monitoring of protected-area coverage, status and trends at national, regional and global scales, and to assist in evaluating progress in meeting global biodiversity targets.

There are monitoring programmes in place by UWA and NFA. Guidelines for developing biodiversity monitoring indicators are being developed and are expected to be completed in October 2012. The major challenge is getting adequate financial to carry out the monitoring programme on a regular basis.

Goal 4.4  To ensure that scientific knowledge contributes to the establishment and effectiveness of protected areas and protected area systems

Target: Scientific knowledge relevant to protected areas is further developed as a contribution to their establishment, effectiveness, and management.

There are programmes at tertiary institutions to train personnel on protected area management. However, only a small number are trained due to limited financial resources.

Progress of implementation of CBD POWPA in Uganda

Uganda has made progress in implementing the CBD POWPA. An initial analysis of the progress of implementation was carried out in 2008 and from the analysis it was found out that Uganda has put in place the necessary policies, programmes and activities that is facilitating the implementation of the goals, targets and activities of CBD POWPA. Annex 2 gives a summary of progress made in the implementation of each activity.

From the initial analysis carried out in 2008, and after consultation with stakeholders, it was recommended that Uganda needed to carry out a study on governance and the valuation of protected areas. Uganda received support from GEF to carry out the two studies and the reports of the two studies have been finalized and will soon be disseminated after stakeholder validation workshop planned for this year (2012). Highlights of the report of the study on valuation of protected areas

Although it is widely accepted that protected areas (PAs) play important roles in poverty reduction through the provision of extractable products and other ecosystem services, the statistical value have not yet been captured. Capturing the economic values of PAs will aid in the incorporation of the roles of PAs into the national accounting system and improve understanding on their importance of PAs in poverty reduction. It is against this background that a study on the valuation of PAs focusing on Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) and Budongo Central Forest Reserve (BCFR) was undertaken. This study was undertaken concurrently with a study on governance of Pas. The findings from both studies provide a good basis for the strengthening of protected area systems and management of long benefits for human wellbeing, the economy and environment.

1. MFCA and BCFR were selected as the pilot sites for the study on valuation of PAs study in Uganda. The selection was based on the following criteria:

a) Each site had to have an existing management plan or draft management plan since development of a new management plan would be expensive and would also take long;

b) The two sites had to have different ecosystems (landscape) which had to be adjacent to one another in this case a forest reserve and national park; and

c) The two pilot sites had to be under the management of different government agencies with different laws, in this case the BCFR is managed by National Forestry Authority using the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act, while MFCA is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) under the Uganda Wildlife Act.

2. A total economic valuation method was adopted to determine all returns or benefits from the two protected areas. Efforts were directed toward establishing the direct values, indirect values, option values and existence values including the benefits derived by either the use or non-use of the various resources. Other aspects considered were the costs either direct or indirect in terms of management, those associated with the management option adopted and opportunity costs.


4. It was found out that MFCA and BCFR Complex (MFBFC) are important as a biodiversity habitat and contribute a lot to the community, the nation and globally through a number of ecosystem products and services. As a biodiversity habitat MFBFC has a diversity of fish, reptiles, birds, plant, animals and invertebrates species. The long duration of conservation and protection of these habitats has made the area rich in biodiversity.

Ecosystem products/services

5. PAs play important roles in the provision of ecosystem services for the local communities and this contributes significantly to poverty reduction. Some of the services and products from the MFBFC to local community include provision of firewood, food, housing construction materials, microclimate moderation that also influences agriculture the main economic undertaking. Although all these services are important, the potential of PAs to ensure that the communities are above the poverty line is yet to be realised. A poverty study undertaken in the entire country shows that highest levels of poverty were observable around PAs including MFBFC. The main findings of the value of MFBFC are shown in Table below

Value of ecosystem services and products in MFCBFC

Value of the service/product(Ushs)

Value of timber stock

146 billion

Non-timber products (mainly wood)

4.81 billion per year

Non-wood Forest products

5.425 billion per year

Medicinal and pharmaceutical value

2.21 billion per year

Soil erosion control

132.1 billion per year

Tourism value

142.3 billion in 2009

Carbon sequestration and storage value

3.75 billion per year

Option, bequest and existence value

35 trillion

Relocation and rehabilitation value

114.438 trillion

Watershed protection and catchment services

26.5 billions

Research and education

47 million

Costs to the community

2.5 billion per year

Opportunity costs for MFBFC (livestock husbandry and sugarcane )

25.2 billion per year

Income of the MFCA

2.2 billion (2008)

Oil reserve

Value not yet established

6. In conclusion, more effort is needed to ensure that the PAs contribute significantly to poverty reduction besides their other function of the provision of ecosystem services. For example the return from apiculture, one of the main interventions on sharing benefits with the communities, has not benefited the MFBFC community much. In order to increase the contribution of the PA to both poverty reduction and the provision of ecosystems services, the study recommends the following:

a) Undertaking of regular scientific inventories of the PAs to identify, quantify and document all key resources in the area;

b) Updating of valuation studies of key ecosystem goods and services and assessing the cost/benefit implications of maintaining them;

c) Promoting the multiple use of strategies including community access to protected area resources on a sustainable basis;

d) Introduction of support of more meaningful revenue and benefit sharing schemes; development and support of new wildlife based local enterprises and supply chains (beeswax, medicinal extracts, wild plant foods etc);

e) Development and implementation of relevant and effective economic instruments for the conservation of protected areas;

f) Creating opportunities for REDD projects and programmes that incorporates both the maintenance of PAs and improvement of local communities livelihoods should be explored; and

g) Ensuring that more capacity needs to be built on the valuation of protected natural resources and ecosystem services especially for natural resource managers in Government ministries, Government departments/agencies, NGOs and the private sector.

Highlight of the report of the study on Governance of Protected Areas

Governance encompasses four interrelated elements. First is the element of state capacity which is related to the power and capacity of a state to enforce rules that are consistent and predictable. Second is the element of the rule of law which establishes, among other things, property rights and limits the state’s discretion in manipulating those rules. Third is the element of democratic institutions which further limit the exercise of the state’s discretion by holding governments accountable to their citizens. Fourth is the element of an active citizenry. Active citizenship is essential for the defense of public institutions that act in that act in the public interest. A combination of these elements defines the quality of governance in a country.

For the purpose of the study, protected area governance concerns the structures, processes and traditions that determine how power and responsibilities are exercised, how decisions are taken, and how stakeholders have their say. When considered in the context of protected areas, protected areas governance concerns the structures, processes and traditions that determine how power and responsibilities over protected areas are exercised, how decisions are taken, and how stakeholders have their say.

Over the last half a century, in spite of potential setbacks mainly resulting from a history of political and economic instability, Uganda has made significant progress in ensuring effective protected areas governance consistent with national conservation objectives and global commitments. As discussed throughout this paper, the following general conclusions in terms of progress can be made:

First, while there have been various changes in the size and type of protected area types under the different sectors, the country has remained steadfast in trying to address the problems of loss of protected areas. Secondly, significant progress has been achieved in the area of policy, legal and institutional reforms. These reforms have created wide ranging opportunities for many stakeholders including non-state actors to engage more actively in PA governance related activities. Thirdly, the creation of new protected areas and the enhancement of the conservation status of some of the existing PAs during the 1990s was a major achievement by Government. It is worth noting that during this period, selected wetlands, forests and wildlife areas were recognized and their conservation status enhanced by changing their categorization.

In spite of these achievements, major challenges remain. The future of PAs and the effectiveness of the applicable governance regimes will particularly depend on how these challenges are addressed in a more strategic and robust manner.

Political support

Political support for effective Protected Areas governance is inadequate and needs to be improved. While Government sought to increase the political profile of environment and natural resources activities through the creation of dedicated Ministries and Agencies, Government is yet to provide adequate resources for effective conservation of Protected Areas.