The Living with Wildlife appeal will run from 15 January to 14 April 2020 and aims to raise £760,000 which will be matched pound for pound by the UK government as part of their UK Aid Match initiative. Give before 14th April 2020 and the UK government will match all public donations to the appeal.
The Living with Wildlife project will create new livelihood opportunities which can lift people out of poverty and protect wildlife. The money raised will be used to train families on how to grow their own food and establish sustainable ways of making a living while also funding vital conservation work in the community.
Through the ground breaking new project, Send a Cow will train over 7,000 families living around Murchison Falls National Park to grow their own crops so that they can have nutritious food to eat, all year round.
Through Tusk’s partnership with the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF), families and young people in the area will also be supported to start their own small businesses and learn vocational skills, such as agroforestry and construction, to help them find sustainable ways of making a living that don’t endanger wildlife. This will enable people living around Murchison Falls to break the cycle of poverty permanently and will mean that they are no longer pressured to hunt within the National Park, helping to protect endangered wildlife such as the Rothschild’s giraffe. With fewer than 2,000 Rothschild Giraffes remaining in the wild, urgent action is needed now to protect future generations.
Alongside this, Tusk and the UCF will also educate and engage local communities with conservation so that they can appreciate the value of wildlife and become guardians of the park. Schoolchildren will learn about environmental issues and solutions, creating young conservation champions who can discourage their families from poaching and who will themselves turn away from poaching when they grow up.
Supporting the Appeal is explorer, writer, photographer and Tusk Ambassador Levison Wood who said: “I visited the park whilst filming my documentary Walking the Nile and am all too aware of the link between poverty and wildlife decline.’’
“With limited sources of income and food, some families lay traps in the hope of catching bushmeat to feed their families and sell in the market. However, traps are indiscriminate and are causing untold damage. We must act now and protect endangered wildlife like the Rothschild’s giraffe before it is too late.’’
The International Development Secretary, Alok Sharma, added: “I am proud that UK aid is backing the Living with Wildlife appeal to help build sustainable businesses in Uganda that will work to preserve the country’s unique natural environment.
“Through UK aid the government will double donations from the British public, meaning their generosity will go twice as far.”