ITFC formed a partnership with
Fauna and Flora International (FFI),
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA and the
United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU) to submit a joint proposal
to the Darwin Initiative. The proposal was successful and the
project started in April 2012.
“Integrating Batwa cultural values into national parks
management in Uganda”
to increase the active engagement of Batwa in national
park management and improve relations between Batwa and
when Bwindi, Mgahinga and Semuliki National Parks were created
in 1991, the many Batwa who were excluded from these forests
lost access to the basis of their livelihoods and cultural
The Convention for Biodiversity, to which Uganda is a signatory,
obliges the Ugandan Government (GoU) to recognise the rights of
minorities to maintain their cultural practices when this is
compatible with conservation. Many Batwa cherish traditional
uses of the forest and therefore continue to use the park and
its resources. UWA’s efforts to prevent this through policing
are only partially effective and create conflicts that reduce
management effectiveness, undermine conservation goals, and
raise questions about sustainability.
Batwa value the forests and support forest conservation, but do
not support their current exclusionary management. This project
will promote recognition of Batwa values and institutions,
engage the Batwa community in park governance, and help retain
values, institutions and ethnic identity, all important
contributions to wellbeing.
to assess and document the views and cultural values of the
Batwa and to help explore how these can be better integrated
with conservation practices. Furthermore, ITFC will develop and
implement a Monitoring and Evaluation plan for this project’s
objectives and train rangers and Batwa in the monitoring
protocol. Together we will
provide lesson to share to a wider audience.
Other partners will focus on strengthening communication between
Batwa and the park authorities in order to build understanding
and confidence, they will also create incentives for income
generating activities by Batwa, develop inclusive park
management policy, and provide training.