Decision : CONF 205 V.57-59
Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda)
V.57 The Bureau was pleased to learn that security conditions in the Park have improved and that this Park will be re-opened to visitors in July 2001. Security has been improving since the beginning of 2000 through the efforts of the Uganda Police Department Force (UPDF). The Central Tourist Circuit has been opened and maintained as of March 2000. In preparing the Park for renewed visitation, the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UAW) intends to (a) equip the site with a VHF Radio System or other communication network; (b) repair the Kurt Shafer Bridge; (c) construct a Ranger Base at Nyabitaba; and (d) secure field equipment and gear, warm clothing and rescue equipment. The Bureau noted that the State Party has submitted an emergency assistance request for financing the purchase of this equipment and the proposed construction and repair work and that the request will be reviewed by the Bureau under agenda item 7.
V.58 Based on a report submitted on 15 April 2001, by the Executive Director of UAW, the Bureau noted that encroachment in the Mbuta, Kibwa and Musandama areas has been curtailed but requires constant surveillance. Illegal pit-sawing in the Bundibugyo District is on the increase; poaching by some Local Defence Units and individuals belonging to the Special Police, of monkeys and other small mammals is rampant. Chimpanzee poaching and trafficking is very common. The Park plans to conduct an assessment on the effect of war on wildlife and on the ecosystem. The Bureau expressed its concerns about the situation with regard to poaching on small mammals and chimpanzees and encroachment and requested IUCN and the Centre to continue to explore ways and means to assist the State Party in its assessment of the effects of war on wildlife and the ecosystem and efforts to rehabilitate the Park.
V.59 The Bureau noted that the Park area has been increased by a donation of land by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services, and an additional 60 acres purchased by Ecotrust Uganda. The former land parcel needs to be surveyed and the payment for the latter finalized. The Park has no infrastructure such as Headquarters and outposts for Park monitoring. The Park authorities envisage undertaking new policies for Community Protected Area Institutions and for revenue sharing, and to focus on collaborative institutions to fill the vacuum created by the departure, more than three years ago, of foreign NGOs and inaction of the local ones.