Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve (TSWR) is one of the reserves that are becoming very important areas for conservation. According to the General Management Plan (GMP) 2007–2017, the wildlife population in the reserve is increasing and tourism numbers are also increasing. Because of its importance, the district Local Government Councils of Ntoroko and Kabarole around the reserve are proposing to elevate the reserve to National Park status. This implies that the reserve will grow its tourism numbers and revenue hence increasing capacity to protect its boundaries. Despite the growing importance, the reserve is faced with pressure of development projects that have been proposed in and around it, including petroleum development, mining, hydropower production, road construction, transmission lines installations, and development of water gravity schemes, among others. These projects have potential to result in negative impacts that will compromise the integrity of the Protected Area (PA).
This Environmental Sensitivity Atlas has been prepared to provide reserve managers and developers with a tool to identify the most sensitive areas at risk, establish protection priorities, and identify timely and appropriate responses and clean-up strategies.
The sensitivity analysis is based on information on various animal species specifying their distribution, breeding areas, and seasons and their critical habitats among others. The analysis also considers physical, biological, and socio-economic aspects and provides map layers showing the areas that are more sensitive. This Atlas should be used as a tool to guide decisions on placement of different development projects within the reserve.
It is my sincere hope that this tool will be put to use by all stakeholders to ensure that the various developments are implemented without compromising the integrity of the PA negatively. I am sure that when properly used it will contribute to the protection of the PA.
I, therefore, entrust the Chief Warden Kibale Conservation Area and the Warden In Charge TSWR with this atlas but also urge all the different stakeholders to ensure that the information in this Atlas is used effectively during all decision-making relating to development projects in and around the PA.
Dr. Andrew G. Seguya
UGANDA WILDLIFE AUTHORITY