Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park covers nearly 100,000 ha in western Uganda and comprises the main part of the Rwenzori mountain chain, which includes Africa's third highest peak (Mount Margherita: 5,109 m). The region's glaciers, waterfalls and lakes make it one of Africa's most beautiful alpine areas. The park has many natural habitats of endangered species and a rich and unusual flora comprising, among other species, the giant heather.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Spectacular mountain scenery
Rich montane flora, with many endemic species
Rare and endemic birds
Rare and threatened mammals
Diversity of habitats
A Chinese company has been given the licence to resume copper mining in the property. Copper tailings from this mine were piled outside the park in the 1960s and 70s and continue to be left adjacent to the Kilembe mine and to the river that flows through Kasese town and into Lake George in the Queen Elizabeth National Park (a Biosphere Reserve). Vegetation does not grow well on these tailings. The Cobalt mine (referenced above) near the park also continues to pollute the Queen Elizabeth National park which is downstream of that mine.
The park is managed by the semi-autonomous Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), established under the Uganda Wildlife Statute 1996, with its own Board of Trustees.
The buffer zone is not subject to management intervention by Uganda Wildlife Authority, but communities have been supported to plant trees adjacent to the boundaries. Most settlements are located in the valleys, typically several kilometers from the park boundary. The boundary line itself traverses steep land that is generally unsuitable for cultivation, along the 2,100 m contour.
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||WWF||Rwenzori Mountains Conservation and Environmental Management Project, Phase II|
|2||FFI / MacArthur Foundation||Culture and Conservation Programme|
|3||WCS||Albertine Rift Conservation Programme|
|4||Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST)||Support Ugandan communities to Conserve Rwenzori|
|5||Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation-ITFC||
|ITFC established long term study Permanent Sample Plots under the project called GLORIA to monitor changes in vegetation along altitudinal gradient in response to climate change. The plots were established in 2010 complete with data loggers.....no funders available to continue with monitoring|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||Funds for research and monitoring for the site||There is a need for funds to run an ecological monitoring program for the park. There is need for research on the status of various flora and fauna at the site including the endemic and endangered species. Most of the knowledge on the status of the different flora and fauna is from past research by independent researchers.||
|1||FFI (2012) Current status, ownership and management of sacred sites in the Rwenzori Mountains; Survey report and management proposal. Technical report to FFI, Kampala.|
|2||ITFC (2016) An inception report for; An Assessment of the Hydrological Systems in the Lake Edward Basin of Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Unpublished report to GVTC, Kigali|
|3||State Party of Uganda (2015) Report of the State Party to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda). <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/684/documents/>.|
|4||UNESCO (2016) Report on the State of Conservation of Rwenzori Mountains National Park. State of Conservation Information System of the World Heritage Centre. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/684/documents/>.|
|5||WWF (2010) Rwenzori Mountains Ecological Monitoring Plan, unpublished technical report to WWF-Uganda, Kampala|