Tourism revenue sharing policy at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda: a policy arrangements approach

W.M. Ahebwa, V.R. van der Duim, C. Sandbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Debates on how to deliver conservation benefits to communities living close to protected high-biodiversity areas have preoccupied conservationists for over 20 years. Tourism revenue sharing (TRS) has become a widespread policy intervention in Africa and elsewhere where charismatic populations of wildlife remain. This paper analyzes TRS policy at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), Uganda, from a policy arrangements perspective. It is based on data collected at BINP and three surrounding parishes, using qualitative methods. It concludes that the governance capacity of the TRS policy arrangement at BINP is low due to the structural incongruence of the dimensions of the policy arrangement (analyzed in terms of actors, resources, rules of the game and discourses). Despite the participatory rhetoric of policy reforms, the Uganda Wildlife Authority remains the most powerful actor: it has control over resources and consequently determines the rules of the game. Local communities do not feel adequately compensated for conservation costs. This issue is exacerbated by weak communications with local people, problems of fair distribution locally and nationally, corruption claims and powerful local elites. To maximize TRS’ ability to contribute to conservation through development, inequities in the design of the TRS and dispersion of benefits need to be addressed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-394
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • sub-saharan africa
  • western uganda
  • conservation
  • wildlife
  • management

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