JGI-Uganda Ecotourism Project Nominated for Conservation Award
This just in! The Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) ecotourism site in Uganda has been selected as one of 12 finalists for the 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
About the Awards
JGI-Uganda was nominated in the category that recognizes organizations and destinations that have made a significant contribution toward the protection of wildlife and expansion and restoration of natural habitat. The awards, which are divided into four categories, are drawn from 186 entries from more than 60 countries. JGI-Uganda’s Budgongo Ecotourism Development Project (BEDP) has been nominated for the conservation category.
JGI’s Ecotourism Project
|A forest guide accompanies Dr. Jane Goodall and visitors in the Budongo Forest Reserve.|
Building on its experience working in Uganda since 1996, JGI, in partnership with the Ugandan National Forest Authority (NFA), launched the Budongo ecotourism project in 2006 with funding from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development. The ecotourism site is located within Uganda’s Budongo Forest Reserve, which is home to critical populations of chimpanzees and other endangered species.
At the onset of the project, JGI built a new environmentally friendly visitors center and lodge and renovated existing accommodations. JGI also improved, expanded and continued to maintain forest trails used for chimpanzee trekking and other ecotourism activities such as birding. Since the project began, JGI has trained, equipped, and employed local community members, providing them with an alternative source of income to cutting down natural forest to use as fuel or to sell.
JGI’s work at the Budongo ecotourism site has also resulted in:
- Placement of 203,800+ acres (82,500 hectares) of forest under improved management;
- Visits by more than 2,100+ local elementary school students to the Budongo environmental education center, which helps raise awareness about the forest and its species among the next generation of local community members;
- Environmental education trainings for 30 nearby elementary school teachers;
- Employment for 24 local community members;
- Training for 230 nearby community members in construction of woodlots, which reduce reliance on natural forest;
- Training for 55+ local community members in forest-friendly businesses, such as craft making, beekeeping and farming;
- Training for 30 guides, chimpanzee habituators and community patrols; and
- An average of 5,000 guests at the lodge each year.
The winners and finalists will be recognized at WTTC’s annual Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas between May 17 and 19. Keep your fingers crossed for JGI!