Speeches Shim

Rangers in the Masai Mara demonstrate the WILD mobile app.
The WILD mobile app allows rangers in 10 conservancies in Kenya and Tanzania to collect and share data on wildlife sightings, poaching, human wildlife conflict and other activities.
Nadine Sunderland/USAID


East Africa is globally recognized for its rich biodiversity and iconic landscapes.  Managed well, these resources spur economic growth and improve livelihoods.  However, factors such as climate change, wildlife crime, habitat fragmentation, human wildlife conflicts and urban expansion are threatening conservation efforts.

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Combating wildlife crime

Poaching and wildlife trafficking in East Africa are at critical levels.  In response, USAID supports the East African Community (EAC) to develop regional strategies, and harmonize and adopt strong policies to enhance transboundary wildlife management, combat wildlife trafficking, and enforce wildlife crimes.  Through USAID support, new tools and technologies are being introduced to combat wildlife crime, such as the Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange database, which helps law enforcement officers in the region share information. With the vast majority of illegal wildlife goods being trafficked by sea, USAID partners with the United Nations Development Program to curb maritime wildlife trafficking in East Africa.

Biodiversity conservation

Wildlife is a critical asset for East Africa’s future growth and development.  The total direct contribution to GDP of nature-based tourism to Kenya and Tanzania is  estimated to be over US $1.2 billion.  Our partnerships strengthen the conservation and management of transboundary natural resources including wildlife and landscapes in the region These natural resources are of critical importance for sustaining wildlife and human populations.  USAID also partners with the EAC and Environmental Incentives in assessing the value of natural capital and wildlife and habitats across four key trans-boundary landscapes in Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.


USAID partners with the U.S. Forest Service to conduct a regional assessment across Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania to inform future programming that provides youth with the tools, technology and systems that will enable them to take action to save biodiversity.  USAID has also helped fund two seasons of Wildlife Warriors, a nature conservation program. Wildlife Warriors hosts kids clubs in Kenyan schools that further amplifies messages of conservation and youth leadership.

In addition, USAID  has supported the training and mentorship of journalists who focus on investigative reporting of wildlife management and crime in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.  USAID continues to raise the profile of the most pressing issues related to countering wildlife crime across transnational boundaries.  USAID will be launching an exciting new private sector partnership that will create nature programming for children ages 6-13 in late 2021.  Focusing on youth will create a new generation of conservationists.

Climate Action

East Africa is affected by a wide range of climatic shocks and stressors, including droughts, floods, heatwaves, pests and diseases, among others.  These climate hazards call for an enhanced regional strategy and approach to effectively plan for and respond to them as these conditions are projected to intensify in the coming years.  USAID has partnered with regional, national, and sub-national organizations to assess climate vulnerabilities and strengthen regional policies, strategies and actions that enhance resilience.  USAID programs have designed state of the art tools and technologies to create various climate-smart solutions to underpin the resilience of trans-boundary communities and their environments.  As a result of these programs, better climate predictions have enabled countries within the EAC and the greater horn of Africa to enhance their preparedness. 

Overview: Regional Environment

Activity Fact Sheets

Combatting Wildlife Crime

Conserving Natural Capital and Enhancing Collaborative Management of Transboundary Resources in East Africa

Economics of Natural Capital in East Africa

Improving Collaborative Conservation and Management of Transboundary Natural Resources 

Increasing East African Media Coverage of Conservation and Wildlife Issues

Inter-agency Agreement to Support Wildlife Conservation and Combat Wildlife Crime

Reducing Maritime Trafficking of Wildlife Between Africa and Asia

Between Spears and Tusks

You can access our current and past newsletters here.

Last updated: April 15, 2021

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