Samuel Mwandha has recently joined the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) in the role of Executive Secretary. Mr. Mwandha has over 19 years experience in the field of nature resource conservation and wildlife management. Most recently (September 2005 to October 2010) he worked as the Director Conservation with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), responsible for overseeing the management and operations of protected areas and wildlife in Uganda, having risen over the last 16 years through the different ranks within the organisation.
During his extensive work in conservation (monitoring, research, management, environmental impact assessments and compliance monitoring, climate change, community development etc), he has interacted widely with various local and international organisations such as IUCN, World Bank, Face Foundation (The Netherlands), USAID, GTZ, WCS, AWF and WWF. Prior to becoming Director, he spearheaded the development of annual operation plans and general management plans for protected areas under UWA. This built his experience in leading multi-stakeholder teams in discussions and reaching common goals. He has also handled issues of policy formulation and review at organizational level which directly feed into national and regional policy reviews.
While with UWA, Mr. Mwandha was also involved in formulation of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration and he now brings to it his experience to build on what the team has already begun.
Mr. Mwandha envisions the central Albertine rift being managed as one landscape for the socio-economic development of its people. His priorities will be to work toward the formal recognition of the GVTC by the three governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda through the signing of a treaty and identifying sustainable sources of funding for the secretariat to enable it continue and expand the work towards the conservation of the landscape and supporting the socio-economic development of the population therein.