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Bwindi Ancient Rainforest

New 10-Year Management Plan for Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area

New 10-Year Management Plan for Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area

Bwindi Ancient Rainforest

The New 10 Year Management Plan for Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area is underway! The plan is in the first stage of a General Management Plan (GMP) development for the Bwindi and Mgahinga Conservation Area (BMCA). A team of 15 planners had a reconnaissance trip of  conditions, facilities and management issues in the two parks making up the BMCA.

The GMP preparation by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is a participatory process, offering stakeholders the chance to have an input in the management and development of the parks in the next 10 years. Issues to be addressed include resource protection, use and management (natural, cultural and scenic resources), boundary issues, community involvement in conservation, benefit sharing, tourism development,  access and infrastructure, interpretation and education, research and monitoring.

UWA’s members of the planning team include officials from the HQ Planning unit and Research and monitoring, as well as BMCA Wardens of conservation, research and monitoring, tourism, and law enforcement. Local government is represented at the district level, by Environmental and Agricultural Production officers.

This first reconnaissance stage took about two weeks, in which the team visited various areas. As Robert explains, “during the first stage, we are looking at the current developments in relation to the 2001-2011 plan, and also the other issues arising”. In Bwindi, for example, the team looked at poor and uncontrolled tourism infrastructure, park boundary management, poaching, UWA staff housing, and local community perceptions about conservation (e.g. how they perceive the current revenue sharing scheme, and human-wildlife conflicts).

ITFC is glad to be part of the process, as the research and monitoring stakeholder. We hope that recommendations from our past years’ studies will be considered for  the management plan, with Robert being part of the planning team.

In June 2012, a draft of the new plan will be presented to UWA’s top management, then to the different stakeholders in July and after to UWA Board of Trustees in August. The GMP is an important document, that provides guidance on how the two parks will be run for the next ten years. Many stakeholders in Bwindi and Mgahinga will be consulted to provide inputs to the new plan and these will also include national and international stakeholders.

Do you have suggestions to be included in the planning? You can contact the Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area Manager at  pontiouse2010@gmail.com or let us know through this blog.

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