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The landscape team is currently working on the following activities in this stage:  Forming a DEVELOP stage team and MoU The partners group formalizes the partnership through an operational design team for the develop stage and a signs MoU clarifying roles for design and implementation Program development Specific studies (detailed feasibility studies, economic analyses...) or pilot activities may be carried out and reviewed to be incorporated in the  program  document Program design document  The Landscape partnership team submits a full program design document to one of the relevant funds or investor (LDNF, GCF, FCPF)
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Greater Virunga landscape (GVL)

GVL is shared between Uganda, DRC and Rwanda, trans-boundary landscape. The Uganda part of the GVL can be a model for biodiversity protection, economic growth and sustainable development in Africa.

Landscape description

Resting along the shared boundaries of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda, the Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL) is an interconnected set of protected areas that contains more terrestrial vertebrate species and more endemic and threatened vertebrate species than any other site in Africa. The GVL has the following specific and notable features:

1. An interconnected set of protected areas in western Uganda, Rwanda and eastern DRC

2. Wide diversity of habitats and altitudes and critical ecosystem services

3. Transboundary water tower for the entire region; Africa’s most productive lakes (George and Edward)

4. Large and growing human population, forming some of the world’s highest densities of rural populations. Key income sources: forest products, small-scale agriculture, fisheries and increasingly tourism

5. More terrestrial vertebrate species and more endemic and threatened vertebrate species than any other site in Africa

6. Important populations of African elephant, African lion, buffalo, okapi and hippo.

7. Twenty primate species coexist, including the entirety of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population



Contact organisation

WWF Uganda Country Office (UCO)

Local landscape lead

Harold Turinawe

Main partners

Uganda Trading Coalition

Government endorsement 

Partial, no heavy land use planning

Private sector partner

Strong connections with PS actors in FLR (NFC), hydropower company, and tourism. No international brand, need to build access to market.

Total area (ha)

600,000 ha

Overall goal

Draft vision of the transbounary GVL: "The GVL is a model for transboundary landscape level biodiversity protection and sustainable development in Africa." NB: Goal of the Uganda program under development.

Expected impacts

Uganda results are not yet ready, but will build on GVL expected results (draft):

Draft impact (for refinement):

•By 2030, target species (African elephants, mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, African lions TBC) numbers are stable / growing

•By 2030, priority habitats within the GVL are secured and providing habitat connectivity and ecosystem services

•By 2030, sustainable natural resource use is delivering increased benefits to people at local and national level Draft outcomes (for refinement):

•By 2030, legal, policy and institutional frameworks in the GVL support sustainable natural resource use and equitable benefit sharing

•By 2030, there is a united and strong voice for sustainable natural resource management within the GVL

•By 2030, human-wildlife conflict is reduced and there is zero poaching

•By 2030, land-use is sustainably managed and guided by integrated transboundary landscape planning


There are multiple pressures on the GVL, including the pressure for agricultural land and freshwater resources from the growing rural population, the impact of armed conflict in Eastern DRC, unsustainable poaching and illegal trade in timber and wildlife products, and the pressure from extractive industries and infrastructure development. At the same time, the biogeography of the GVL renders it, and the people living within it, highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In response, both government and non-governmental agencies have been active in conservation and livelihood initiatives over several decades, both within and outside the Protected Areas. This effort has achieved some significant and celebrated successes, including the recovery of large mammal populations in many areas and, through exemplary collaboration, the increase in mountain gorilla numbers. WWF seek to build on these successes in the face of ever-increasing pressures and challenges.

Landscape approach

The approach is a cominbation of many strategies, some already under way, some others to be initiated:

- Catchment / basin management

- PES programs

- Integrated water resources management

- Climate smart agricultural landscapes

- Sustainable production landscapes / jurisdictional certification / landscape sourcing

- Ecosystem / forest restoration landscapes


FLR, with the government and 12 disctricts forest owners association, membership of 1200 farmers. Promotion of water for production in drought prone area around Rwenzori, Queen and Imaramagamo and Bwindi PA (rainwater harvesting and sust. land management). Promotion of clean energy for cooking, lighting, targeting 5000 HH.

Related Sector

To be added 

Global brands present


Lead institution


No answer chosen

Current sources of funding


Potential: DFCD on BP

Expected sources of funding

Proposed priority programs or sectors


edited on 29th March 2022, 11:03 by Deesha Chandra
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Deesha Chandra Dec 3, 2020

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Reply 0

Paul Chatterton Dec 3, 2020

I’m excited to see this. The Virungas must be one of the most important landscapes on the planet. There is nothing to compare with the great apes, but few realise what a remarkable hotspot of plant and animal diversity this is. Great to be working with the Virungas team.

Reply 1

Deesha Chandra Jan 8, 2021

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Reply 0

Deesha Chandra Jan 8, 2021

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Reply 0