Local Communities‘ Perception of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Expected Benefits
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There is a general lack of appreciation of conservation efforts by the local communities. This study examined reasons for continued revenue sharing yet local communities around Bwindi Im-penetrable National Park (BINP) have negative attitudes about it. Further, the study sought to understand whether tourism in the area has contributed to improvement in local communities‘ perception of BINP thus contributing to conservation success in the area. The aim of the study was to explore local community perception of BINP and their expected benefits. The study was conducted in Ruhija sector of BINP and included the four villages of Mburamizi, Katooma, Bwesangiro and Nyabiha, (Bishayu) in Rubanda district southwestern Uganda. The study majorly targeted residents living around the park, park rangers, and guides. A total of 101 respondents were interviewed. Results indicate that local people who experience challenges from the park‘s existence were 97%. KII indicated that there is no illegal accessibility into the park as it used to be. “There are strict rules and therefore we have not registered cases of poachers though we face some challenges where some animals especially gorillas have been caught by snares sometime back.” Ranger in BINP It is concluded that park management fee to local community as one of the benefits should al-ways be directed to the most vulnerable, most especially when dealing with conservation related issues.