Comparing the community dependence on natural resources in Nyungwe National Park and the contribution of revenue sharing through integrated conservation and development projects
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has recently established a tourism Revenue Sharing Scheme (RSS) to create a win-win approach in protected areas for effective biodiversity conservation and management. Through this scheme, around 1 billion Rwandan francs wereinvested to support around 152 Community Based Conservation Projects (CBCs), and integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs). This paper assessed the contribution of CDCs projects around Nyungwe National Park (NNP) by evaluating their efficiency and effectiveness, and their socioeconomic impact to the local community development. Secondary data about the revenue sharing projects and the amount of money allocated to each project were collected from RDB office. Primary data were collected through the interview and focus group discussions. To verify the findings from RDB, interview and focus group discussion (FGD) were used. Interview was done with 500 households of local people around Nyungwe National Park and with community conservation wardens, while threats to NNP were verified by the consultation of reports from ranger based monitoring officers. The results showed that the value of resources collected by people from the park is higher than the revenue sharing support offered by RDB as (31.3 %) of respondents mentioned that exotic tree species were stolen and sold as poles where one pole was sold at around 6,800 Rwandan francs and 38.6 % of respondents proven that mining gave the much income. and consequently the revenue sharing scheme did not significantly reduce threats to biodiversity and its impact around NNP.A small percentage of people are happy because they were supported but a big number becomes unhappier and threaten the Park due to the gap in creating a win-win situation in biodiversity conservation. We recommend the revision of the whole revenue sharing scheme, taking into account the cost of livelihoods of community surrounding the park.
Keywords: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Integrated Conservation, Development Projects, Revenue Sharing Scheme