Friday, February 8, 2013
Sustainable tourism and conservation as local communities benefit from wildlife
Local communities around Lake Mburo, Kidepo and Murchison falls National Park are set to be given licenses to keep or farm wild animals on their land courtesy of the Africa Wildlife Foundation. Tourists who intend to visit these animals will be expected to pay a sum of money directly to those keeping them rather than through the park authorities. This $10 million dollar USAID funded project was launched at Lake Mburo National Park last week. In the long run, this program is expected to improve conservation of Budongo and Karinzu forests. There has been a lot of logger heads between the local communities and the park authorities over wild animals straying into their farms. As of now, local people with small pieces of land will form groups to bring it together for viable use.
The project is the first one of its kind in Uganda but not in Africa simply because it has been tested and benefited many communities in countries like Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, DR Congo and Rwanda. Only local people with a valid license from the Uganda Wildlife Authority will be allowed to keep wildlife.