Ethical issues in wildlife conservation management at Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP), Uganda
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The study set out to establish and examine the ethical issues in wildlife conservation management at Lake Mburo National park. Wildlife conservation approaches at Lake Mburo National park were assessed, attitudes of local people towards wildlife conservation evaluated, ethical challenges of wildlife conservation approaches established, and an ethically guided approach for attaining sustainable wildlife conservation proposed. Using qualitative research methods which involved interviewing key stakeholders and studying relevant documents, 9 conservation approaches being implemented by UWA were established. These included; Collaborative Resource Management arrangements, Benefit sharing, Working with other partners to reduce pressure on the park, Problem Animal Management, Wildlife User Rights, Conservation Education and Awareness Programmes, Demarcation of park boundaries, Law enforcement, Use of Code of Conduct. Communities’ attitudes towards wildlife conservation at LMNP are to a large extent negative, ethical challenges were; corruption, unbalanced distribution of benefits to neighboring communities, harassment of people during patrols, lack of transparency and accountability, political interference in allocation of projects. It was concluded that to attain sustainability in wildlife conservation at LMNP, the following ethically guided principles should be adopted; Giving priority to local people in protected area jobs and service provision (in line with Beneficence, Justice and respect for autonomy); Understanding different interests, coupled with appropriate identification of target communities and providing relevant projects is necessary (Fairness, justice, Beneficence); Transparency and accountability (Justice, Fairness); Conflict resolution mechanism (Justice); Recognition of rights to resource use, but in controlled manner and also animal rights (Justice, beneficence); Fair implementation of law enforcement to deter illegal activities (Justice, Fairness).