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A sustainable future for Uganda's unique natural world heritage

Our partnership with WWF in Rwenzori Mountains National Park will bring deforestation and loss of biodiversity to a halt by enhancing management and collaboration with local residents on alternative and sustainable livelihoods.

  • Where
    Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda
  • Focus area
  • Duration
  • Economy
    Hempel Foundation: DKK 12,7 million
Prime partner: WWF

Rwenzori Mountains National Park covers nearly 1,000 square kilometres of lush hillside, also known as the Mountains of the Moon. Located on the boarder between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo the national park is a Key Biodiversity Area and also nominated as a Biodiversity hotspot.

The area is considered a national "water tower" providing 2 million people with fresh water, and both businesses and the population are depending on the area for access to water, farming, fishing, hydro power, transportation, industrial production etc. 

The national park is under threat from deforestation, poaching and habitat fragmentation. Significant growth (est. 3.6 per cent pa) in an already dense population combined with extensive poverty means very limited access to farming land, jobs, construction materials and fire wood. Subsequently pushing the population further in to the park with illegal felling and poaching as result.

The national park strives to uphold the necessary park management and protection of the area, but the income is insufficient to halt a massive deforestation and substantial loss of biodiversity.

The name 'Rwenzori' translates as 'rainmaker'.

The project will develop and test various (local scale) models for sustainable income to catalyst the identification of one or several solutions to secure long term capacity for running the park and create financial incentives to sustain Rwenzori's extraordinary nature.

The project will aim to develop sustainable sources of income for the national park (tourism and ecosystem services) together with a component to provide locals with an alternative livelihood while protecting the park (regeneration of forest).

In the long run the project will contribute to sustaining the Greater Virunga Landscape as a complete ecosystem with diverse, protected and connected biotopes and habitats, so that its unique biodiversity and valuable ecosystem services are maintained for the local population.