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Equity workshop: Equity in Protected Area conservation - lessons from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda


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A presentation by Medard Twinamatsiko, social research leader, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC)- Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)

This presentation was given at the Expert Workshop on Equity, Justice and Well-being in Ecosystem Governance, held at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London, March, 2015.

Published in: Environment
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Equity workshop: Equity in Protected Area conservation - lessons from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

  1. 1. Equity in Protected Area (PA) Conservation. Lessons from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Uganda Expert Workshop on Equity, Justice and Well-being in Ecosystem Governance March 26-27, 2015 IIED, 80-86 Gray’s Inn Road, London Medard Twinamatsiko -Social Research Leader Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC)-Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)
  2. 2. A brief history…1989 ILO on rights of indigenous people 1992 – Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) article 8(j) and 19(2)-fair and equitable distribution of benefits 1998 Aarhus convention on environmental procedural rights 2000+ – Millennium Development Goals “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger” “Ensure environmental sustainability” 2003 – IUCN World Parks Congress “protected areas should strive to contribute to poverty reduction at the local level, and at the very minimum must not contribute to or exacerbate poverty” 2004-CBD programme on work of PAs on equitable sharing of costs and benefits 2010 – UN General Assembly “Preserving biodiversity is inseparable from the fight against poverty” 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for the CBD
  3. 3. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Was gazetted as a: • Forest Reserve 1942 • Game Reserve 1961 • National Park 1991 The forest covers 330.8 km2 A home of about 400 gorillas- half the world’s population of mountain gorillas (CR) Border is densely populated, 350 people per km2 >95% rely on subsistence farming Conflict between Park and people- inequitable distribution of benefits
  4. 4. What are the key costs conservation at Bwindi and other PAs? Costs 1. Historical costs of no access.. • Loss of a ‘home’ and identity (Batwa) • Loss of livelihoods (especially socio-economic aspect) • Loss of rights -no resettlement and no compensation• Loss of rights -no resettlement and no compensation 2. Emerging costs after gazettement • Limited alternative livelihoods (350 people per sqkm) • Crop raiding-triggers Human Wildlife Conflicts (HWC) • Inequitable distribution of benefits e.g. Revenue sharing, jobs • Governance deficits (Procedural and recognition) • Tourism social impacts
  5. 5. Conservation benefits High investments with many ICDs, e.g. Revenue Sharing, the Multiple Use Program (MUP), Tourism development, the Trust, NGOs, research… … The mountain gorilla population is increasing hence more revenue generation (20000 visitors in 2013)..(20000 visitors in 2013).. … But the greatest threat remains poaching, which still continues…why?
  6. 6. Poaching dilemma for PA managers Increase law enforcement Improve Integrated Conservation and Development policy- practice Less unauthorised activity? ? Win-Win situation: Does this enable equity in PAs in terms of; • Benefits distribution to and governance and by local communities? • Conservation of the PAs? Reduced threats to Bwindi and gorillas
  7. 7. Dilemma in achieving equity at Bwindi Property rights Contradictory laws and legislations PA ‘owners’ PA managers Customary Conventional Bye-laws/ordinances Conservation costs Vs benefits Illegal resource access Targeting the right people Making a trade-off Distributive equity Who? Why? Theory and practice! Decision making Definition of equity Procedural context
  8. 8. Property rights and Legislations Property rights Access Benefit 1. Who has the rights? (formal and customary, rights Vs privileges, substantive Vs procedural) 2. Who can access resources and who determines access? 3. Who benefits and how does the community define benefits? • Batwa ancestral rights as forest people (Kabananukye & Wily, 1996; Kidds, 2008) • Rights of access and use -EX-pit sawyers and miners (R2P, 2013) • Agrarian rights (Ribot and Peluso, 2003) International national customary laws • Theory and application
  9. 9. Conservation costs Vs benefits Villagers within 0.5km of the national park boundary were significantly poorer than villagers living beyond 0.5km • Frontline villagers are therefore the poorer members of local communities neighbouring Bwindi • They are also more likely to suffer from crop raiding • Likely to receive fewer benefits and less involvement compared to other villagers
  10. 10. Resource users at Bwindi and frontier villagers
  11. 11. Illegal resource access-Who and why? Compared to ARUs and the baseline sample, URUs: • are poorer, • live closer to the Park boundary, • are more likely to live further from trading centres Both ARUs and URUs have larger family sizes. ARU Baseline URU BasicNecessitiesSurveyScore ARU Baseline URU BasicNecessitiesSurveyScore ARU Baseline URU DistancefromParkboundary(km) ARU Baseline URU DistancefromParkboundary(km) ARU Baseline URU Proportionlivingover1hourfromcenter 05101520253035 ARU Baseline URU Proportionlivingover1hourfromcenter 05101520253035 ARU Baseline URU Householdsize 02468 ARU Baseline URU Householdsize 02468
  12. 12. populationengagedinresourceuse 1015202530 populationengagedinresourceuse 1015202530 Bush meat hunting- for food, medicine, culture and social capital. Mostly driven by poverty.... Firewood: Due to land scarcity, no Which resources and why? Bushmeat Firewood Medicine Honey Poles Proportionofp 051 Bushmeat Firewood Medicine Honey Poles Proportionofp 051 land scarcity, no alternative fuel for subsistence needs Medicine-Beliefs in traditional medicinal plants compared to conventional Honey for eating, sale and medicine but also important in Batwa culture Poles: Scarcity of building materials in community. They also support farming
  13. 13. Our Aim Our Findings Who? What? Poor and remote • Close to Park boundary • Far from markets and other vital social services Important resources scarce or unavailable outside the Park • Meat • Firewood Why? • Firewood 1) Poverty - subsistence and minor income 2) Resentment – personal compensation for conservation costs (crop raiding) and inequitable benefit sharing Full report:
  14. 14. How then do people influence choice and distributiondistribution of Revenue Sharing benefits? (Community Based Monitoring -RS beneficiaries n=184, 12 villages)
  15. 15. Knowledge of RS guidelines Policy statement -RS guidelines are availed to everyone and all RS projects will be officially launched prior to implementation to give them visibility and to raise awareness about them
  16. 16. Attendance of meetings Policy statement -People should be made aware of RS guidelines before benefit and to be followed during implementation
  17. 17. Grass root consultations and involvement Policy statement –The communities will meet every July of the year to identify community needs and priorities and identify potential projects for funding
  18. 18. Allocation of money to HWC Policy statement - implementation of these guidelines will contribute significantly towards reduction of human-wildlife conflict and improvement of livelihoods of households in communities adjacent to wildlife protected areas
  19. 19. Accountability to the local people Policy statement - Qualitative inquiries and studies like annual beneficiary assessments, impact assessments…will be commissioned.. and local people will get feedback on project outcomes
  20. 20. What does equity in PA Conservation mean to stakeholders?
  21. 21. How do we ensure that PAs are equitably managed to address conservation and development? 1. Ensure equitable share of costs and benefits of conservation Targeting those who bear conservation costs and bring benefits direct to the people 2. Ensure equitable governance Ensure there is collaborative (inclusive) decision making and accountable/transparent systems in procedural safeguards
  22. 22. Thank you! CONTACT Medard Twinamatsiko Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation-MUST email: skype: medard.twinamatsiko Phone: +256 751 892 953