Buffer zone for tourism and natural resource bank

June 20, 2017

Gambia Placeholder
Gambia

Buffer zone for tourism and natural resource bank

About the Implementing organization

Name: Ruboni Community Conservation and Developmet Program (RCCDP)

Country: Uganda

Year of establishment: 1998

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Community enterprise or business / Indigenous group or organization

Description

The buffer forest which was originally community agriculture land has been collectively gazeted for tourism by the community. This helps to reduce the vulnerability of the park ecosystem to human extractive activities such as poaching. While it serves as a tourism park, the forest also doubles as a seed bank for natural materials that may be required to expand to the household gardens. This also reduces the incidences of human wildlife conflicts since the wild animals from the park find it hard to access farmer’s crops grown far from the buffer of the Park Forest. Originally, the crop gardens used to touch the park hence tempting the wild life to cross to the gardens. The community famers who originally farmed in the buffer were compensated and trained improved methods of agriculture at their households or alternative lands far from the park. These farmers use less effort to move to the gardens and yet produce more from their household gardens than they used to in the far gardens near the park since they can give intensive care to the crops and no longer face wildlife raiding their crops.

Nature Element

Forests / Mountains / Wetlands / Rivers / Wildlife

Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Disaster risk reduction / Health / Renewable energy / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

      

Environmental Impacts

The initiative has increased indigenous forest cover, peaceful occurrence of wildlife in the dispersal area from the park, less access to the park leading to poaching on and beyond the buffer zone. Increased tree cover on the household land while the farmers are involved in the agro-forestry on their household land in the line initiatives. Part of the income generation from tourism is used to conserve the forest and other natural resources in the community. This income has compensated the original owners and now the forest is collectively owned by all the people in the village hence reducing the level of fragmentation of the land and collectively managing this important ecosystem for all and by all the community members. There is increased monitoring of the status of wildlife and the environment in this critical wildlife area in the buffer of the park. The community tourist guides and forest rangers pay timely visits to the forest.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Improved household investment and reduced the level of poverty among the community.

Less pressure on the national park from the neighboring community as they understand the value of the park and are also involved in tourism.

Increased production from agriculture and higher supply of food in the homes.

Sustained resources and initiatives from the acquired skills such as business management, credit and saving has enabled the women to develop a saving culture by saving some of the income they made.

The level of literacy has raised and more youth are employed in office jobs in and outside the community.

This kind of Employment has seen the youth invest in larger projects that secure their future, hence being less a burden on the environment (indigenous forest).

The knowledge and awareness about environment conservation

Scalability

The farmers have been helped to practice agro-forestry on their land to continue getting supply of wood products sustainably.

The reserved buffer zone forest doubles as a natural resource bank. Seeds are collected from indigenous tree and seedlings generated to be planted in open areas.

More local and foreign people have invested in conservation and tourism and some of their activities involve creation of nature parks, village experiences, crafts sales and others that continues to repel more people from degrading the national park.

Through other larger projects RCCDP is working with the households to plant indigenous trees.

RCCDP identifies and sensitizes other families that have forest pockets in the community by encouraging them to conserve them. These such families get incentives from the tourism income in several ways jointly agreed upon

Replicability

Educating the tourists who visit the area and take the forest walk and other community tourism activities. The researchers who come to the community in a day or multiday research programs to understand how the project operates the student’s interns from the local, national and international communities when they are studying tourism or conservation. The initiative achievements are shared online through social media and website. This also doubles as a way of marketing Through the national community tourism network (UCOTA) the idea of Ruboni community has been expanded to the national membership. Other community tourism initiatives come in individual or groups to come and bench mark from RCCDP initiative.

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