WIT Press


Adapting A Community-participatory Wildlife Conservation Model To Management Of Nigerian National Parks For Sustainable Tourism

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ST120251

Volume

161

Pages

13

Page Range

307 - 319

Published

2012

Size

2,866 kb

Author(s)

P. C. Ngoka & G. A. Lameed

Abstract

Conservation areas, especially national parks, are the major tourism destinations of Sub-Saharan Africa, and wildlife constitutes the key attraction to the region. In Nigeria, the protection of wildlife for tourism is greatly hampered by the dominance of cultural attitudes toward wildlife utilization. The modern concept of protected areas came on board as an imposition from colonial authorities; that excluded the socio-cultural and economic systems of the local communities. People’s attitudes to state-instituted wildlife programmes have continued to tilt toward suspicion and distrust, and sometimes outright opposition and conflicts have resulted. Community participation in state wildlife conservation programmes is known to have resolved socio-economic and political conflicts, and reduced illegal extraction of wildlife resouces to the barest minimum. This study surveyed 4 community-participatory wildlife management programmes in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe with a view to adapting them to the management of Nigerian National Parks for sustainable tourism. Surveys of the key features of the programmes were compared with current management practice in Nigeria. It was found that the kind of model in which certain share of management and staff composition, added to percentages of profits from conservation projects go to the host communities does not exist in Nigeria. Rather a model known as Support Zone Development programme (SZDP) is in use by the National Park Service (NPS); which allows limited involvement of support zone communities. A drive toward the community-participatory model was recommended as expedient to increase interest and support for state

Keywords

local communities, co-management, natural resources, wildlife conservation, national parks, sustainable tourism, socio-economic empowerment, Nigeria