In this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards, we sought to recognise those businesses and organisations which had stepped up to take responsibility as the pandemic stopped tourism. We have showcased many who sought to help others cope in the pandemic. The Commended and Highly Commended can be found here.
The Covid-19 virus has stopped all tourism to see the gorillas and the importance of preventing any transmission for the virus from tourists, guides or guards to this endangered species means that it is likely to a long time before tourism to Bwindi restarts.
The Batwa were displaced from the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest when it was turned into a national park to protect the Mountain Gorillas. As a nomadic people who had never settled in one location, the Batwa had no claim to the land, and the Ugandan government had no legal obligation to compensate them.
Change a Life Bwindi is a local NGO working to ensure a balance between the environment, wildlife conservation and sustainable development programs among the communities living in Bwindi, through sustainable livelihood initiatives.
I met Tina Katushaba when with colleagues working on a Darwin Initiative funded project to improve sustainable livelihoods for people living around the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Sanaa Gateja, a Ugandan artist with an international reputation, worked with local women to improve the design and quality of the baskets they weave for sale to tourists and for export.
Tina Katushaba should tell the rest of her story – it is inspiring.