An analysis of methods and trends of poaching, stakeholders in anti-poaching, their coordination and synergy mechanisms in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Kato, Raymond Rukeijakare
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Poaching of wildlife is one of the greatest challenges faced by managers of protected areas worldwide including the National Parks of Uganda. The United Nations has identified the current magnitude and scale of illegal and criminal exploitation of natural resources as an environmental crime crisis. The study explored the types and trends of poaching around BINP in the past ten years, investigated the extent of local community engagement in anti-poaching programs and assessed the different categories and roles played by stakeholders in addressing anti-poaching strategies around BINP. It also assessed the extent of synergies and coordination roles/efforts amongst stakeholders’ in combating of poaching around BINP. Individual interviews, KII, FGDs as well as GPS tracking were used to obtain the data. Descriptive and inferential statistics including the Logistic Regression, Chi Square, and content analysis were employed for data analysis. There was a sharp increase in the trends of hunting activities especially poaching from 2013 to 2014 as evidenced by the slaughter remains and snare trap recovery and confiscations found in the park especially towards the end of 2014 and early 2015. The intensified UWA patrols as a result of support from the IGCP also caused a decline in duiker poaching in BINP. Poaching tools especially the spears significantly reduced between 2016 and 2018. Although communities around the park had significant limited interest in coordinating with UWA and the Local Government authorities to curb poaching activities, local people who belonged to organized social groups significantly had positive willingness to engage in anti-poaching activities (Coef=2.066, P-value=0.011). More sensitization and patrolling should be intensified in areas of Kanungu District where majority of the local people were not willing to coordinate with other stakeholders to curb hunting as revealed by a regression analysis Coef -2.516, P- value = 0.036. The stakeholders engaged in anti-poaching activities included the Local Government whose major activities were collaboration and implementation, Community Associations providing intelligence and implementation. Government Agencies such as UPDF and UWA would enforce and share intelligence, research institutions contributing majorly research information and dissemination (ITFC), Local conservation Organizations that would majorly support through mobilization. Some other stakeholders included the international conservation organizations such as IGCP and WWF that participate through collaboration and co-funding the anti-poaching activities. This information can aid in improving the conservation of National Parks especially in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, South Western Uganda.