Presenter Information

Sydney QuallsFollow

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Sarah Halvorson

Faculty Mentor’s Department

College of Humanities and Sciences Department of Geography

Abstract

The Bossou Forest Reserve in south-eastern Guinea provides critical habitat for a semi-isolated and endangered population of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). This population, which is recognized as a critically endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has declined to only seven total chimpanzees. Major factors leading to the demise of this species include human exploitation, deforestation, infrastructure development, and natural disasters. Interviews and community surveys conducted in surrounding communities demonstrate that local residents are exploring conservation strategies. One of the main foci is assessing the role of ecotourism in generating awareness about the chimpanzees while simultaneously providing meaningful livelihood options for local residents. The purpose of this study is to support ongoing research efforts through GIS mapping and analysis. Specifically, this paper reports on an effort to utilize GIS to incorporate local perceptions and planning priorities into the design and implementation of a new ecotourism management plan. This process entailed assembling the data in the geoprocessing program ArcMap. The paper will conclude with the presentation and discussion of the perception and participatory maps for five of the study communities. Analysis of the maps will highlight the collective concept of where resources, threatened areas, and areas of value are located within the Bossou Forest Reserve. The hope is that this participatory map will be used to inform future ecotourism planning that will continue to involve the communities. Pending the outcome, this methodology of a community centered approach to sustainable ecotourism may be applied to comparable situations in similar places.

Category

Social Sciences

Share

COinS
 
Apr 17th, 9:00 AM Apr 17th, 9:20 AM

The Role of Participatory GIS in Community-Centered Ecotourism Management in the Bossou Forest Reserve, Guinea

UC 326

The Bossou Forest Reserve in south-eastern Guinea provides critical habitat for a semi-isolated and endangered population of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). This population, which is recognized as a critically endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has declined to only seven total chimpanzees. Major factors leading to the demise of this species include human exploitation, deforestation, infrastructure development, and natural disasters. Interviews and community surveys conducted in surrounding communities demonstrate that local residents are exploring conservation strategies. One of the main foci is assessing the role of ecotourism in generating awareness about the chimpanzees while simultaneously providing meaningful livelihood options for local residents. The purpose of this study is to support ongoing research efforts through GIS mapping and analysis. Specifically, this paper reports on an effort to utilize GIS to incorporate local perceptions and planning priorities into the design and implementation of a new ecotourism management plan. This process entailed assembling the data in the geoprocessing program ArcMap. The paper will conclude with the presentation and discussion of the perception and participatory maps for five of the study communities. Analysis of the maps will highlight the collective concept of where resources, threatened areas, and areas of value are located within the Bossou Forest Reserve. The hope is that this participatory map will be used to inform future ecotourism planning that will continue to involve the communities. Pending the outcome, this methodology of a community centered approach to sustainable ecotourism may be applied to comparable situations in similar places.