Community resource use in Kibale and Mt Elgon National Parks, Uganda
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Kibale and Mt Elgon are two National Parks in Uganda valued for their biodiversity and tourism potential as well as for the ecosystem service they provide for neighbouring communities (e.g. as water reservoirs). As with many other parks in Uganda and elsewhere, Kibale and Mt Elgon have been confronted with conflicts with their neighbouring communities, which have posed serious conservation challenges. In the last decade, some new conservation strategies have been adopted at Kibale and Mt Elgon to address those conflicts through partnerships between the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the neighbouring communities and the local government administrations. This paper describes the experience of UWA in implementing such an innovative, collaborative approach to conservation. The initial observations suggest that the approach is effective, that it addresses the real conflicts by providing a package of options and that it brings benefits to both local people and conservation. The paper discusses the components of the new approach as well as emerging issues and concerns.
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