The long-term preservation and protection of Boma National Park can only be achieved through the active participation and engagement with local communities and local authorities. In Boma, there are a significant number of people living inside its boundary who are composed of a number of different ethnic groups, including the Murle, Jie, Kichepo, Toposa, Anuyak and Nuer. In addition, the park also has 16,000 people living just outside its boundary, in the towns of Pochalla and Pibor and Kuron Peace Village.
Our overarching objective is to implement a strong community engagement programme to create a firm foundation on which the relationship between the local communities and park management can thrive. This will ensure that local communities understand, benefit from and support the protection of this vast wilderness area. The three key strategies that will be used to achieve this objective are community engagement, the development of education opportunities and enterprise development.
It is essential that the local communities are heard and their questions, concerns and needs are addressed. This will be dependent on a community engagement team who will create awareness and foster knowledge among community members about wildlife conservation and its benefits.
Our aim is to provide quality education that will support economic and social transformation while raising awareness of environmental issues. The provision of school facilities and learning materials will enable many community members to become employable and competitive in the work place. Environmental education will also be emphasized through community and school visits to the park and the creation of wildlife clubs in schools. This will ultimately facilitate an attitude of change and awareness which will not only secure the future of the park but create one where both people and wildlife can thrive.
The management unit of Boma will be the largest employment provider in the region. Economic opportunities will continue to grow through the steady development of regulated tourism activities over the coming years. African Parks will initiate sustainable pastoral programmes and provide training to boost skills development with a view to encouraging conservation-led economic development. Income generating projects, such as honey production, will also be explored and identified and will provide an alternative to the dependence on resources from the park.
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