Introduction to ecosystems
Introduction to ecosystems

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6.1 Gorillas and tourism

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda was formed in an attempt to protect the jungle in the area, one of Africa’s richest ecosystems, from human activities. Initially it was preserved in a hostile way, with local residents forcibly evicted and barred from future entry into the park. This sparked angry protest from local communities, and there were violent clashes as a result.

An integrated conservation development programme was conceived to protect the area without alienating local communities, who had been dependent on the resources available in the forests and jungle for their livelihood.

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Contributors to this video include G. Kalema-Zikusoka, T. Yese, C. Bwiza, J. Byamukama, M. Mapesa.

The crucial point of the development programme was to involve communities in the increased tourist interest in the park and its gorilla population.

As you watch the next film, reflect on why the Bwindi Park was established, and how this affected the local population. What difference has the establishment of the park made to the ecosystems there? Consider whether the economic activities around the park make enough of a difference to the local communities around the park

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Box _unit6.2.1

Join the Week 6 forum [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and discuss the problems faced by the Bwindi Inpenetrable National Park in conserving their population of gorillas. Are there any general conclusions that can be drawn from the gorillas that can be applied to the conservation of other species?

Figure _unit6.2.1 Figure 2

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