Rwanda: Replicate Volcanoes Tourism Model
The hugely successfully model of Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, at the foot of the Volcanoes National Park in Musanze District, is one that should be replicated in other game parks around the country.
The lodging facility, which was constructed by government with support from international partners and later handed over to a cooperative of residents in the area, has had a tremendous impact on the lives of the locals around the parks.
Testimonies from the residents in the Sabyinyo and Nyange sectors, home to the rare mountain gorillas, demonstrate that this Private-Public venture was a worthwhile undertaking.
Some of the beneficiaries are former poachers who were later sensitised and convinced to become partners in conserving the park and the tourist attractions therein.
Kudos to all those behind this initiative, which has since changed lives in that part of the country, and those who worked hard to ensure that communities around the park see the gorillas and the other species there as valuable assets that need protection and good neighbours as opposed to hostility.
In October, the World Bank recognised this model, highlighting its significant contribution towards preservation of natural habitat.
Indeed it is a model that should be replicated in other parks around the country, including the Akagera National Park where human-wildlife conflict have become commonplace in recent years.
SOURCE : THE NEW TIMES RWANDA : HERE