MacArthur has announced 13 new grants totaling more than $4 million for biodiversity conservation efforts in the Albertine Rift area of Central Africa, which stretches from just north of Lake Albert in Uganda to the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika in Zambia (see map for details). Grant funds will be used to conserve large landscapes, help local authorities better manage conservation efforts, and research new approaches to conservation.
Although the Albertine Rift covers only one percent of the landmass of Africa, it is home to more than half of Africa’s birds and nearly 40 percent of its mammals, including the endangered mountain gorilla. In the past decade, the region has been plagued by civil unrest, resulting in the death and displacement of millions of people. Today, although fighting has subsided, poverty persists and regional governments are focused on rebuilding communities and infrastructure devastated by war.
“The combination of civil strife and deep poverty make Africa one of the most challenging environments in which to carry out conservation work,” said Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “Many of the communities living in or near protected areas are fully dependent upon the land for their survival. Our commitments in the region consider these important needs, especially as communities rebuild their lives post-conflict. Our goal is to work with regional governments and organizations as well as local communities to develop long-term conservation strategies.”
Six grants totaling $1.85 million have been awarded to build capacity for local governments, universities and non-governmental organizations:
Five grants totaling more than $1.8 million will be awarded for efforts to help conserve large landscapes in the region.