Enhanced Equity and Governance, Reduced Illegal Resource Use at Uganda Protected Areas

Presenter: Medard Twinamatsiko, Mbarara University of Science and Technology

 

Enhanced Equity and Governance, Reduced Unauthorised Resource Use at Uganda’s Protected Areas

 

Author and Presenter:  Medard Twinamatsiko- Department of Environment and Livelihood Support Systems, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies-Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda

 

Co-Authors: Grace Kagoro Rugunda, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mbarara University of Science and Technology; Tom DeHerdt, Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp, Belgium; Phil Franks,  International Institute for Environment and Development, London; Francesca Booker, International Institute for Environment and Development, London; Dilys Roe, International Institute for Environment and Development, London; Julia Baker, Balfour Beatty, United Kingdom; Benon Basheka, Uganda Technology and Management University, Uganda; Charles Muchunguzi, Department of Environment and Livelihood Support Systems, Mbarara University of Science and Technology; Clemencia Neema Murembe, Department of Human and Relational Studies, Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Equity and governance are two important concepts that facilitate sustainable biodiversity conservation. Reduced unauthorised resource use is vital in achieving biodiversity conservation. In protected area management however, equity and governance have not always been prioritised by protected area managers and policy implementers. An assessment has been made on the importance of equity and governance as pathways towards reducing unauthorised resource use in Uganda’s Protected Areas. Data from Bwindi and Lake Mburo National Parks in Uganda reveals that, the more people are involved in decision making processes and also equitably share resources, the more they are likely to be co-managers of protected area resources. At the moment, those who bear the most conservation costs are not well targeted by conservation benefits and are likely to develop resentment and undertake unauthorised resource use. When people are excluded or perceive exclusion in protected area management and governance, they are likely to resent conservation efforts and poach. Bush meat hunting is still evident in most protected areas in Uganda and has led to the declining stock of wildlife species. Key principles of governance such as; meaningful participation, accountability, recognition of actors, fairness in benefit sharing and effective dispute resolution systems are paramount in addressing unauthorised resource use and promoting sustainable conservation. Enhanced equity and governance is also connected to enhanced livelihood improvement and conservation support. This research creates a linkage between equitable distribution of benefits, equitable governance, people’s livelihood improvement and conservation support. We recommend the application of an equitable framework in order to improve the policy implementation practice that is vital for addressing illegal resource use and wildlife trade.

medardDr. Medard Twinamatsiko is a Senior Researcher and Lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in the Department of Environment and Livelihood Support Systems with over 12 years of experience as a Development Conservationist. He has a PhD in Policy Management and Natural Resource Governance. He has previously implemented three Darwin Initiative projects and several other projects supported by Arcus Foundation, in the area of Natural Resource Governance. These projects were all aiming at linking conservation to community wellbeing.

He brings expertise in community-based conservation approaches such as integration of governance and equity principles in natural resource management.