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Rwenzori Mountains
To develop perennial sources of funding for the Rwenzori Mountains National Park and the local population, namely to increase tourism revenues and private sector mobilization by a water PES pilot program, carbon credits and CSR.

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park (RMNP), established in 1991, is located on the border between Uganda and the DRC. This ecosystem is one  of  the  biggest  in  the  Virunga  National  Park  and  peaks  at  5,109 meters.  Its  widely  diverse  environment  (Afro-montane  forest,  Afro- alpine grasslands, wetlands, glaciers) is home to many species such as the chimpanzee, red duiker or the Rwenzori leopard.

The  Rwenzori ecosystem  provides  essential  environmental services. In addition,  it  is a  water  tower  for  two  million  people  and  many companies. The diversity of its landscapes makes it a unique, although unknown, tourist destination.

The  anthropic  pressure  in  the  buffer  zone  caused  by  some  805,000 inhabitants, seeking land for subsistence farming, firewood and protein sources, has aggravated chronic erosion.


By  supporting  an  initiative  implemented  by  the  WWF,  the  FFEM,  in  conjunction  with  the European Union, contribute to setting up sustainable biodiversity financing tools, such as payments  for  environmental  services  (PES),  tourism  or  carbon  credits.  Financed  by  private partners  affected  by  the  sedimentation  of  the  Mubuku/Nyamwamba  rivers,  the  water  PES mechanism reward farmers in the upstream catchment area for better land management (reforestation and reducing erosion).

The project is structured into  5 components and several activities :

  • Mobilization of the private sector around the Rwenzori ecosystem
    To encourage the private sector to invest in the Rwenzori ecosystem through Payment for Environmental Services (PES), Corporate Social Responsability (CSR) or carbon crédits.
  • National institutional and regulatory framework favorable to PSE
    The  efforts  of  the  project  on  PES  in  the  Rwenzori  be  sustained  by  a  process  of consultation  and  adaptation  of  the  regulatory  framework  for  PSE,  under  the  direction  of NEMA. This component allow a review of the existing legal and fiscal arrangements, the sensitization   of   policy   makers   and   the   drafting   of   provisions   promoting   PES   in   the Environment Act.
  • Pilot scheme for payment for environmental services
    The  mechanism reward  farmers  in  the  upstream  catchment  area  for  better  land management  (reforestation  and  reducing  erosion).  To  do  so,  the  project (i)  build  the scientific, technical and institutional PES through preparatory studies (hydrological and socio- economic)   and   consultations,   (ii)   support   the   implementation   of   agri-environmental measures by farmers, and (iii)  monitor the performance of farmers and PES impact on the water service.
  • Tourism development in and around the Rwenzori Park
    The project aims to increase the number of tourists by diversifying the offer, and sharing the benefits of this tourism with communities.
  • Communication and sharing of project lessons with tools
    The  project develop  communication  tools  (publications  and  media  campaigns)  and ensure the dissemination of the lessons learned in regional and international conferences.
  • 6,000 homes close to the park benefit from revenue initiatives implemented by the project and the park by 2020.
  • At the  national level,  the  new  Environment Act shall include  provisions on  payments for  environmental services.
Project start date
Project end date
Project grant date
3 years
Duration of funding
Rwenzori Mountains
Financing Tool
2 109 427 EUR
Amount of the program
700 000
Amount of FFEM funding
In progress
WWF France  
Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères
Institution responsible

_Communication_FFEM (_Communication_FFEM@afd.fr)