Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) continues to be narrowly conceptualised as apolitical and technical, despite being one of the most misunderstood and challenging conservation issues shaping the relationship between people and nature in Uganda. Such a framing ignores the social-political and economic constellations that produce and sustain conflicts. This study goes beyond HWC to explore the broader multi-scalar politics that produce both conservation and its conflicts. In doing so, it reflects on Massé’s (2016:100) argument that conservation conflicts are not natural phenomena but the result of political decisions to create a particular type of conservation landscape. The research examines how the hegemonic politics of conservation create and sustain conflicts at the nexus of conservation and community and within communities themselves. The study considers four empirical cases from the Albertine region of western Uganda, an area of high endemism and diversity of flora and fauna, including the endangered mountain gorilla. It focuses on Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to explore the differences between conservation conflicts in and around certain protected areas (PAs) while positioning them within the same political-economic constellations.

  • Funded by: NICHE-GLR-264, Global Minds Operation Fund for PhD and the Ghent University PhD Trajectory Grant
  • Time period: 2018-2023
  • People involved: Emmanuel Akampurira (PhD researcher), Koen Vlassenroot (supervisor), Esther Marijnen (supervisor), Dennis Babaasa (supervisor), Douglas Sheil (collaborator, Wageningen University), Isaac Twinomuhangi (Collaborator, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation -Mbarara University of Science and Technology)