Uganda boasts a wealth of biodiversity that could easily be used for tourism purposes. Uganda’s economy today relies primarily on commodities produced through small-scale agriculture, however. Despite the economic potential of tourism in Uganda’s parks and protected areas, many of the rural communities that surround those natural areas lack the capacity and resources to benefit from tourism. The result, which is seen in protected areas throughout the developing world, is impoverished communities that are limited to resource-extractive economic activities such as illegal logging and bushmeat hunting.
Sustainable tourism presents an opportunity to diversify local economies by supporting an industry that is dependent upon the conservation of natural resources rather than their extraction, thereby lessening pressure on Uganda’s natural resources. In partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)–Uganda as well as the U.S. Forest Service, Jane Goodall Institute, Uganda Community Tourism Association, Nature Uganda, and several other stakeholders, AWF is implementing tourism investments that will provide incentives for communities to conserve important habitats and that will also be an engine for economic growth throughout the country.
The program will be centered around the following sites in Uganda:
By improving the tourism industry, biodiversity management, and community opportunities, Tourism for Biodiversity will bring countless benefits to the people and wildlife of Uganda.
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