Two-thirds of Ugandans now aware of new law, 91% said campaign influenced them to report wildlife crime

In 2019, Uganda’s parliament passed a landmark Wildlife Act, setting out comprehensive guidelines to safeguard the country’s natural resources, while dramatically increasing the penalties for wildlife crime to life imprisonment, and the maximum fine raised to 20 billion Ugandan shillings ($5.5 million).

WildAid partnered with the Uganda Wildlife Authority on a multi-year campaign to raise awareness about the new law to deter Ugandans from engaging in wildlife crime and to increase their willingness to report it. The campaign has included our “Think of the family you would leave behind” billboard and poster ads that highlighted the social impact of being convicted for wildlife crime, along with a campaign video and two animated cartoons, which were created by two young upcoming Ugandan animators.

The campaign’s reach was nationwide, and its impact was impressive. On social media alone, it logged 7 million impressions, with 151,000 engagements and 805,000 video views, while 180,000 posters were distributed in 10 languages across the country and our videos were played on 130 buses and on Uganda’s most-watched TV channel.

In a survey of 1,000 Ugandans contacted by GeoPoll in 2023:

    • 66% said they had seen or heard information about the new law
    • 91% who saw the campaign said it had an influence on whether they would report wildlife crime.

The survey also reported a 19% (11 percentage point) increase in Ugandans who said they were very familiar or somewhat familiar with the new law (from 58% in 2019 to 69% in 2023).

WildAid’s efforts to reduce wildlife trade and trafficking in Uganda, which is a key transit hub for wildlife products, will be expanded, as campaigns are being expanded to key border crossing points, targeting workers at and communities living near the borders. We are committed to spotlighting the benefits of wildlife to Uganda and to raise awareness about what the country stands to lose from wildlife crime.

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About WildAid

WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too. 

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