28 February 2022

Their vision: a world where humans and wildlife co-exist peacefully. Their mission: to support biodiversity conservation and foster sustainable livelihoods and resilience for communities in and around Uganda’s protected areas.

The Enjojo Wildlife Foundation was established in 2019 in response to the enormous pressure on Uganda’s wildlife and their habitats. In the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, this pressure comes from an increase in the human population, coupled with ongoing poaching. The Enjojo Wildlife Foundation is working to find and implement solutions that work for both people and wildlife. It believes that conservation of Uganda’s wildlife and ecosystems can only be sustainable if the communities bordering the park are economically empowered and actively involved in this conservation.

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Bordering the Ishasha sector of the park, the village of Kameme is characterized by high poverty with few economic opportunities for its residents, who rely on tourism as a source of income through the sale of handmade crafts and honey, as well as through direct employment in the lodges around the park. But when Covid-19 hit and the village lost its primary source of income, the Enjojo Wildlife Foundation recognized that sustainable livelihoods were more important than ever, as these provide important alternatives to logging and poaching, which threaten the rich wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park. 

Perhaps fittingly, the people of Kameme have turned to a different kind of royal (regina apis, or ‘queen bee’) to cope with the fallout from a virus with its own regal connotation (coronavirus, named after its distinctive ‘crown’-shaped spike protein). Thanks to a grant from the 'Covid-19 Response: Resilience in Wildlife Communities' initiative by The Lion’s Share and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme, which is implemented by UNDP, the Enjojo Wildlife Foundation trained 20 men and 20 women from Kameme village in beekeeping as an alternative source of income. The Foundation has also purchased bees and queens to set up the practice, as well as the equipment needed to harvest, process, and package the honey.

Read the full story here.

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