A crash course in changing the world.
I choose the study about the protection of forests in Uganda.
Two case studies are taken from Western Uganda, East Africa (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Karuma Game reserve). They are about protected areas for biodiversity conservation.
Before the institutional changes the communities in and around the forests, traditionally depended on forest resources. Deforested and the heavily cultivated areas, charcoal and bamboo trade left mountain slopes vulnerable to soil erosion and landslides. The human activities, such agriculture and hunting and gathering threatened some wildlife habitats.
It is only since the 1990s, that the situation has changed with new institutional changes. The Uganda government, entitle the two areas as protected areas. The traditional unsustainable forest uses were restricted and hunting was forbidden.
Even after designating the areas as protected areas, the communities continue to have vested interests and playing a leading role in terms of management and utilization of the areas. They are involved and for example are responsible for the planting of new natural resources.
With the establishment of these institutions it is expected that communities in and around the protected areas will be socially and economically empowered. This will be through sharing the revenue realized from the protected areas, including Tourism revenue.
Through this case study, we have learned that active involvement of communities that live in and around protected areas can play a vital role in the overall management of the protected areas.