|Title||Killing nature to save it? : an analysis of two sport hunting policy arrangements in Uganda|
|Source||Wageningen University. Promotor(en): V.R. van der Duim, co-promotor(en): I.J. Visseren-Hamakers. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463435659 - 164|
|Publication type||Dissertation, internally prepared|
Sport hunting is an activity where a tourist pays to hunt and kill an animal with desired physical attributes usually in the company of a professional hunting guide. It is practiced by applying both community and market-based conservation approaches. Despite the mixed reactions in both academic and policy debates, Uganda reintroduced sport hunting in 2001 around Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP), first as a pilot, and later extended it to Kabwoya and Kaiso-Tonya Game Management Area (KKTGMA) and in 11 other areas.
Sport hunting is implemented (1) to positively change residents’ attitudes towards wildlife, and (2) reduce human-wildlife conflicts (especially poaching by local communities), by (3) providing incentives for local inhabitants, and (4) to provide lessons in developing guidelines and procedures for further implementation of sport hunting. Based on the theory of institutionalism, particularly discursive institutionalism (DI), regime theory and the governance literature, this thesis conceptualizes and analyses the development and implementation of sport hunting policy arrangements around LMNP and KKTGMA and their impacts.
Generally, the national level sport hunting policy aims remained the same over time. Whilst the LMNP arrangement was highly incongruent and changed through four major periods due to struggles over the benefits, politics of landownerships and changed local discourses, the KKTGMA arrangement remained relatively stable with minimal changes.
Similar to other hunting policies in Africa, Uganda’s sport hunting had mixed outcomes. On the one hand, it helped to address livelihoods in the two areas as the associations used the sport hunting income to fund community shared development. On the other hand, the communities, especially around LMNP, only temporarily had strong interests in conservation. They continue to think of wildlife as a nuisance. Related, the communities in KKTGMA resumed poaching especially following dissatisfaction with the sharing of meat. Although reducing human-wildlife conflicts, especially poaching by the local communities was implicitly expected to contribute to conservation goals in the two areas, this has not been fully achieved. Poaching was only temporarily stopped, and soon resumed for subsistence and small-scale commercial purposes. As such, the local communities’ attitudes towards wildlife in the two areas only changed in the earlier years of the sport hunting policy implementation.
Considering that throughout this study, there was lack of credible data on sport hunting, this study recommends that the government establishes a nationwide effectiveness of the policy, by precisely establishing the population trends of all the hunted animal species, the number of hunted animals and number of arrested poachers, including the sport hunting impacts versus the impacts of photographic wildlife tourism in Uganda. This study also recommends that a policy on transparency and accountability should be developed, and to include improved research, monitoring and evaluation to fully understand the impacts of sport hunting in Uganda and the role of benefit sharing in influencing the local communities’ attitudes and behavior towards wildlife. Also, the government should improve data storage and should promote regular public science-policy dialogue which should be informed by credible data. Finally, UWA should consider, investigate and implement other ecotourism related ways of raising conservation funds instead of practicing sport hunting.