USAID, IUCN and the East African Community partner to protect East Africa’s Natural Resources
USAID has partnered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the East African Community (EAC) to develop a project called Conserving Natural Capital and Enhancing Collaborative Management of Transboundary Resources (CONNECT).
Habitat and species loss, the disruption of wildlife movements as a result of human induced activities, poaching and wildlife trafficking are major threats to East Africa’s natural resources and to local people who depend on wildlife and natural ecosystems for their livelihoods.
Protecting natural capital across boundaries is a challenge and it requires strong collaboration among public and non-state actors such non-governmental organizations, research and private sector partners who have quality information on which to base their decisions. USAID has partnered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the East African Community (EAC) to develop a project called Conserving Natural Capital and Enhancing Collaborative Management of Transboundary Resources (CONNECT). The project will support a regional policy leadership and learning platform for conservation and management of transboundary natural resources in East Africa that will provide technical and analytical support to the EAC’s mandate to coordinate and convene member states to address policy and strategic bottlenecks using evidence based decision-making and strengthen regional dialogue on transboundary management of natural capital.
IUCN will work closely with WWF and TRAFFIC – the wildlife trade monitoring network, the CONNECT project will have a specific focus on supporting the implementation of the EAC’s Strategy to Combat Poaching, Illegal Trade and Trafficking of Wildlife and Wildlife Products. The project will also support the development of the EAC’s technical capacities, leadership and political will to address a wide range of transboundary natural resources management priorities working closely with the EAC Secretariat and the appropriate structures of the EAC.
The program’s objectives are to increase awareness of the economic and intrinsic value of living wildlife; improve sustainable management of key transboundary landscapes; and improve regional and bilateral collaboration on enforcement and prosecution of illegal exploitation of natural capital.
The CONNECT project will form part of the broader regional program “Improving Collaborative Conservation and Management of Transboundary Natural Resources in East Africa” that is being co-designed with EAC to strengthen regional policy harmonization, improve sustainable management of key transboundary landscapes, increase awareness of economic and intrinsic value of living wildlife, reduce demand for wildlife products and; improve collaboration on law enforcement and prosecution capacity.