The Kidepo Critical Landscape Project

What is the project about?

TheKidepoCriticalLandscapeProject Giraffes strolling through their natural habitat in Kidepo National Park, this project aims to ensure that this remains a good place for them to live (Photo credit: UNDPUganda 2013/Matthias Mugisha).

The Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Threatened Savanna Woodland in the Kidepo Critical Landscape in North Eastern Uganda project seeks to strengthen protected area management within a landscape of 655,700 ha of savanna woodland. Encompassing eight protected areas under a range of management authorities, and reduce threats to biodiversity in the landscape as a whole by putting in place sustainable use management practices for wild resources.

The landscape includes the Kidepo Valley National Park which is home to about 86 mammal species, including species of global conservation concern such as the lion, cheetah, leopard, bat-eared fox, wild dogs, African elephant, Rothschild giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest, and Nile crocodile 28 of these species are not found in any of the other Ugandan parks. While populations of Savanna wildlife in Uganda as a whole have been reduced by almost 90% since the 1960s, and largely exacerbated outside Protected Areas, the Kidepo landscape was spared due to its inaccessibility during 20 years of civil war.

Government of Uganda has made significant investments in most protected areas in the country; however, eight protected areas in the Kidepo landscape, including Kidepo Valley National Park, the third largest in Uganda, have been neglected over the last 20 years. By addressing management deficits in these sites, this project will strengthen the national PA system as a whole.

Project objectives

Strengthening Management effectiveness of the Kidepo critical landscape Protected Area cluster: Through supporting  efforts of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to enhance the management effectiveness of the protected area cluster within the Kidepo critical landscape, by elevating community wildlife areas to full Protected Area status, strengthening enforcement, monitoring and other Protected Area functions. The component will also address persistent and new threats to the Kidepo Critical landscape by supporting the introduction of a state of the art security and enforcement system with a platform for information sharing and intelligence gathering among parks and other institutions; with databases that will be continuously updated.


Integrating Protected Area Management in the Wider Landscape: Led by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the project will support the integration of protected area management into the wider landscape in order to secure wildlife corridors and dispersal areas.  It will also support sustainable use of buffer zones and critical habitats. To this end, sustainability thresholds will be established by defining off-take rates for shea tree harvesting; a management plan will be put in place and enforced; capacity of local governments will be built to ensure they have the competence and skills to monitor and enforce laws on sustainable harvests of shea tree; and measures to improve market access for shea products will be put in place.

Implementing Partners

The project is implemented by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in collaboration with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the six districts namely Kaabong, Kotido, Abim, Otuke, Agago and Kitgum that surround Kidepo National Park.

Who finances it?

The project is funded to a tune of $13million by UNDP, this includes $5million from USAID and GEF $3.08 Government of Uganda.

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