BY OUR REPORTER
World Wildlife Fund in Uganda in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), undertook an assessment for the management effectiveness of Rwenzori Mountains National Park (RMNP) using Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT).
METT scores are based on all the management components of the Protected Area (PA) and this was done under the guidance of technical staff at WWF-UCO and senior management of UWA-RMNP.
The overall score (METT score) stood at 70% vis a vis 65% that the PA had scored in 2019, implying that the management effectiveness improved by 5% in the period of three years.
According to the technical advisor for East Africa Wildlife Crime Hub, Drew MCvey, METT scoring is one of the synthesized ways for self-evaluation and an important tool for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L) to ascertain the performance development of the appropriate strategies for improvement.
“The METT re-scoring for RMNP helped to ascertain the change achieved which was to a large extent attributed to the support WWF under Hempel-Rwenzori project has extended to the PA management,” he said adding that increase in METT score is as a result of activities implemented in and around the park with support from this project.
The assessment indicated that restoration of the buffer, livelihood improvement activities for the neighboring communities and the adoption of the monitoring technologies, played a big role in strengthening management of the Protected Areas.
Daniel Ndihiziwe, WWF Uganda Wildlife Protected Areas Manager added that adoption of monitoring technologies like drone, camera traps and Smart Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) technology has helped to reduce the information gap a great contribution to effective park management.
Some of the challenges noted were; Covid19 that hindered community engagement activities and affected the UWA resource envelop due to the reduction in the Tourists numbers.
World Wildlife Fund Uganda Country Office has for the past three decades supported the designated authorities in conserving Uganda’s biodiversity. It has worked with Protected Areas (PAs) management and also with the adjacent communities in various conservation interventions.
The support extends to strengthening law enforcement that requires due diligence to ensure that activities are in line with Environmental Social Safeguard Framework (ESSF).