The Uganda Wildlife act was introduced to provide for sustainable management of wildlife; to consolidate the law relating to wildlife management; to establish a coordinating, monitoring and supervisory body for that purpose and for other matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.
The first act was enacted in 1996 as Uganda was at the start of promoting its tourism which had been hampered by the turmoil period where the country experienced war after war for almost three decades. The act has been doing so well and the results have been evident as the conservation and preservation of wildlife in Uganda has been highly regarded by the local communities and the stakeholders in the tourism sector. Nonetheless, some issues well not addressed well and the vice of encroaching and destroying the wildlife has been taking place for various reasons. For instance the increasing population around the gazatted areas has led to humans destroying the wildlife habitats for settlement, hunting and poaching has also been carried out.
Due to the growing concerns of jeopardizing the conservation and preservation of wildlife species and their habitats, the government of Uganda has been put into action to make some amendments in the Uganda wildlife act 1996. It was believed that in the 1996 act, some laws were loose and gave a leeway to people to take advantage of wildlife. The new enacted Uganda wildlife act 2019 is believed to have tackled more of the past concerns.
HE Gen Yoweri K Museveni, beloved President of the Republic of Uganda, has assented to Uganda Wildlife Bill, 2017 enacted by Parliament of Uganda, effectively enacting UGANDA WILDLIFE ACT, 2019 into law.
The new law comes with significant reforms transforming wildlife conservation in Uganda. Highlights in the new law include
- Community participation in wildlife management strengthened through Community Wildlife Committees for each Protected Area
- Introduces upto life sentence and fine of 20Bn or both for wildlife crime involving endangered species
- Reforms revenue sharing program into conditional grants to communities
- Introduces compensation for wildlife induced damage outside protected areas
- Promotes commercialization of wildlife on private land through sustainable utilization
- Domesticated CITES implementation in Uganda.
The Wildlife Act, 2019 is a game changer for wildlife conservation in Uganda.