Turn Bugoma forest into national park to promote tourism – Research

A conservationist nurses a chimpanzee that was injured in Bugoma central forest reserve. (File photo)

A new research brief has recommended that Bugoma Central Forest Reserve be turned into a National Park as a way to save its immense touristic value and associated benefits.

The research brief released by the Inclusive Green Economy Network-East Africa (IGEN-EA), which is hosted by Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), shows that Bugoma forest is home to 570 or 11.4% of Uganda’s chimpanzees, 225 bird species, the Ugandan mangabey which can only be found in Uganda and other biodiversity.

Of the respondents who participated in the research, 94.3%, 91.4%, 71.4% and 60% observed that chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, forest walks and Ugandan mangabey trekking respectively were the most viable tourism products in the forest.

Ninety four percent of the respondents noted that they would market Bugoma forest as a tour destination.

The research also established that chimpanzee and Ugandan mangabey habituation is ongoing in Bugoma forest.

According to the researchers, chimpanzee habituation processes are expected to be concluded in 2023 adding that the country could earn at least $547,500 annually if Bugoma forest tourism potential is promoted.

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