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Title:Crafting wild nature in south-west Uganda: rich communities, happy tourists?
Author:Tancau, Maria MagdalenaISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1055)
Geographic term:Uganda
nature conservation
community development
national parks and reserves
Abstract:This article analyses the biodiversity conservation/ecotourism nexus as an uncontested device produced through Western conceptualisations of nature and conservation, and designed to pursue the social and economic development of communities in Africa. The aim of the article is twofold: first to position biodiversity conservation and ecotourism within broader approaches to development; and second to achieve a critical understanding of the processes and practices that seek to produce eco-friendly subjectivities and ecotourism entrepreneurs. The article focuses on a biodiversity conservation and development project in southwestern Uganda: the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), which is home to almost half the world population of the endangered mountain gorilla. The article outlines the social, cultural and economic gains and losses in BINP, employing discourse analysis to map out narratives through which biodiversity conservation and ecotourism have been mainstreamed into international sustainable development. The case study illustrates how these discourses of biodiversity conservation, ecotourism and sustainable development are being transformed and negotiated in practice with development agencies, such as the World Bank, USAID and CARE International, and local residents. Bibliogr., note, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]