Community Resource Mapping in Sustainable Natural Resource Management: A Case Study of SW Uganda

Beatrice B. Nabwire, Meshack Nyabenge


Southwestern Uganda represents a fragile ecosystem of complex and interrelated ecology with extreme socio-cultural and biophysical diversity. The area has productive soils and receives bimodal rainfall promoting varied agricultural systems and land use practices. With population growth of 2.2% per annum, this ecosystem is exposed to environmental and socio-economic problems like land degradation, soil erosion, low-income, poor nutrition, fragmented farms and low agricultural output. To mitigate these environmental and socio-economic uncertainties, and continue exploiting these rich natural resources areas, ICRAF and FORRI developed intervention strategies ranging from integrated watershed management to tree germplasm production and distribution. These intervention strategies were supported by community resource mapping for integrating predefined-research areas into community knowledge of their own resources. Acquired geospatial data were analyzed to support community resource mapping and scientific analysis was used for assessment of impacts of land management practices, conservation and conflict resolution. Community-based resource managers and local policy makers were trained in geospatial tools and applications. A GIS node was established in Kabale district to support future spatial analysis and information management. This paper reviews how integrated natural resource intervention strategies and community resource mapping were complemented to realize sustainable development action planning in SW Uganda. It also reviews the benefits of community resource mapping in property rights and geospatial technology transfer. IN this paper, technical backstopping of community effort and capacity building are recommended for sustainable community resource mapping activities.

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