Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Conservation Program In Rwanda Helps Turn Gorilla Poachers Into Ecotourism Guides

Date:
September 22, 2008
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Conservationists at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, are celebrating a double achievement – the success of a conservation program in Rwanda that has helped turn gorilla poachers into ecotourism guides, and a major international award for the program’s founder, alumnus Edwin Sabuhoro.

Poaching of gorillas has been reduced by 60% in northern Rwanda as the revenue from ecotourism has encouraged local people to protect them.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Kent

Conservationists at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, are celebrating a double achievement – the success of a conservation programme in Rwanda that has helped turn gorilla poachers into ecotourism guides, and a major international award for the programme’s founder, alumnus Edwin Sabuhoro.

Mr Sabuhoro, a Rwandan national, completed his one-year MSc in Conservation and Tourism at DICE in 2006 with a dissertation titled Ecotourism as a potential conservation incentive for local communities around Rwanda's Parc National des Volcans. A dedicated ‘adventurer, naturalist, educator, guide, tracker, ranger and conservationist’, Mr Sabuhoro then put his research findings into action by founding the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village in Northern Rwanda, a community-based ecotourism initiative that was designed to develop incentives for local people to protect gorilla habitats.

Already, the outcomes of his project are astonishing: local people own 100% of the project; the cultural village has increased ecotourism by 40%, generating a sustainable income base from it; and, most significantly, the poaching of gorillas has been reduced by 60% as the revenue from ecotourism has encouraged local people to protect them.

It is for this reason that Mr Sabuhoro has just been named Young Conservationist of the Year by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network.

Nigel Leader-Williams, Professor of Biodiversity Management, Director of DICE and supervisor of Mr Sabuhoro’s dissertation, was among the first to offer congratulations. ‘This is a richly deserved award,’ he said. ‘Edwin and his family made quite exceptional financial sacrifices to complete his MSc. His dedication has paid real dividends for gorillas and people in Rwanda by providing tangible benefits from conservation.’

A sentiment that was reflected by Dr Helen Newing, Convenor of the MSc in Conservation and Tourism, who expressed her delight on hearing the news of Mr Sabuhoro’s award. ‘The MSc programme is designed to provide conservation professionals not only with a sound theoretical training but also with the technical skills and understanding to address practical issues on the ground. Edwin’s achievement is an outstanding example of the kind of practice the programme aims to promote.’

Deanne Adams, Acting President of the International Ranger Foundation said: ‘What impresses me most about Edwin Sabuhoro is that he found a local solution for a serious protected area problem. He established a way to provide a new economy for local communities that also provides new protection for threatened animals in the area – and this is a source of inspiration for other communities.’

David Sheppard, Head of IUCN's Programme on Protected Areas, added: ‘Edwin’s outstanding work has benefited gorillas and local people in Rwanda. It has shown that the involvement of local people with wildlife conservation can result in win-win outcomes.’

Founded in 1989, DICE has trained some 475 postgraduate students from over 80 countries, with many going on to make significant international contributions to conserving flagship species or biodiversity in general.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Conservation Program In Rwanda Helps Turn Gorilla Poachers Into Ecotourism Guides." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919075127.htm>.
University of Kent. (2008, September 22). Conservation Program In Rwanda Helps Turn Gorilla Poachers Into Ecotourism Guides. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919075127.htm
University of Kent. "Conservation Program In Rwanda Helps Turn Gorilla Poachers Into Ecotourism Guides." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919075127.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins