Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) commanders are undertaking an intelligence course that started on 4th to 8th, April, 2022 at the source of the Nile Hotel in Jinja. The course is being conducted by the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) School of Military Intelligence – Migyera. Among the participants are Chief Wardens, Law Enforcement Wardens, and Wardens in charge of Protected Areas. The training, jointly supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and UWA, is in response to the training needs of UWA commanders in use of actionable intelligence to make decisions.
The participants are learning intelligence consumption, planning and directing intelligence operations, data management and processing in their daily tasks. WCS Chief of Party Geoffrey Mwedde thanked UWA for taking training staff seriously to protect the wildlife resource of the country. He pledged continued support to supplement UWA’s efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade. He said combating the illegal trade is a key strategic effort in ensuring wildlife is conserved for the future.
UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha in his opening remarks appreciated the support of WCS in funding the initiative. He emphasized the role of intelligence in management of conservation and called upon managers to align intelligence and information to make good decisions. He however cautioned them to draw the line correctly between information and actionable intelligence to be effective in accomplishing the tasks well. “There is need to take decision-based actionable intelligence which averts crime. This will go a long way in ensuring that crime is detected before it actually happens,” Executive Director Mwandha added. He encouraged staff to pick skills that avert crime happening and break the chain of illegal activities.
Mr. Mwandha noted that intelligence gathering contributes greatly to decision making and thanked WCS andUPDF for coming in with the relevant officers to offer and coordinate the training. The UPDF liaison officer Col. Allan Kyagungu applauded UWA Executive Director for taking steps in ensuring that officers are equipped with the necessary skills to do their job.
UWA’s intelligence unit was started in 2013 to aid management in wildlife crime detection and fight against wildlife loss. Since the establishment of the unit, numerous trainings have been conducted with fully dedicated staff to the unit trained and deployed to combat wildlife crimes.