If you ever wondered why different conservation organizations such as IGCP work together with the local Batwa people in the area, then you have to watch a local member setting a trap for the wildlife with not mere expert accuracy but with great satisfaction as well.
This is exactly what Mr. Kapere Richard, one of the Mutwa guides did within the Buniga Forest Walk right before it was opened for tourists in the month of May. With immense joy he actually demonstrated what he was precisely taught by his grand-father, speedily setting traps designed to capture either a foot or the neck of an animal, and as well a trap for crushing the backbone of a monkey.
Being capable to display these skills is very significant to the Batwa local people as well as to the prolongation of their culture since, sadly, their forest way of life is not anymore possible. Actually the Great Lakes region’s verdant forests have diminished. In addition, the residual biodiversity in sheltered areas within the region is not capable to uphold the resource required for a increasing human population. It was for this reason that the Batwa were evicted from the sheltered areas within the region at the start of the 1990s.
That latest history is an additional reason why the IGCP is concerned in projects which give power to the Batwa people. The Batwa local communities are in evolution from the lifestyle in the forest to a lifestyle within permanent settlements on the exterior of the verdant forests. This evolution is not very easy so the Batwa are presented with several challenges in addition to events of discrimination as well as exploitation by different members other communities. We are obliged to offer them support throughout this transition as well as offer them a opportunity to preserve their great culture in a approach that not only benefits Batwa people but the forests plus wildlife as well.
The Buniga Forest Walk within Nkuringo close to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has patches of tree ferns plus lobelia, and an opportunity to experience this forest in the company of a Batwa guide with chances to meet the batwa families will certainly be very memorable.
The IGCP has offered a hand in the development of a great management plan for this one square kilometer Buniga Forest that is possessed by the Kisoro Local Government, as well as through an agreement, is run by the Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF). The IGCP, with help from the partnership member WWF found in Denmark, also assists the development of this physical trail as well as train and equip the Batwa guides as well as a study tour to additional cultural experiences of the Batwa in this region. Today IGCP’s responsibility is actually to create distinctiveness for this trail, a website as well as a brochure, so that the tourists will actually know about the existence of the trail and get an opportunity to meet the local Batwa within Buniga Forest and their community. This entirely is done in a very respectful, authentic, as well as enjoyable way!