Rwanda—Strengthening Sustainable Ecotourism in and around Nyungwe National Park (SSENNP)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2010-2015

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Rwanda

Solutions: Environment and Energy

Rwanda is an emerging tourist destination. This program is helping the country reach its tourism potential by targeting the spectacular Nyungwe National Park (NNP), focusing on inclusive ecotourism development for the benefit of communities surrounding the park and leveraging private sector investment in management, construction, and maintenance of new and existing park infrastructure. Dubbed Nyungwe Nziza, or “beautiful Nyungwe,” the project is helping to transform NNP into a viable ecotourism destination capable of generating employment and sustainable and equitable income for local communities and other stakeholders, thus providing economic incentives to conserve the park’s rich biodiversity. The goal is a thriving economy in NNP with engaged communities and a private sector that benefit economically by protecting and leveraging their unique environment.

Sample Activities

  • Reduce threats to biodiversity, such as fire, poaching, and mining.
  • Increase park visits and revenue, promote NNP as a brand that goes beyond tourism, and develop a core group of trained professionals to support health care in a region vulnerable to HIV and other public health threats.
  • Develop market-driven products and marketing strategies to increase private sector investment in infrastructure and services.
  • Cultivate joint ventures between local communities and the private sector to increase the availability of visitor accommodations and develop new attractions.
  • Train local communities to integrate into existing and new value chains around niche products such as bird watching, chimpanzee tracking, and cultural activities.
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