Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 2 Number 1 (2010)

Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management 2010 2 1

doi: 10.3850/S1793924010000404

Regenerating Ecotourism in Rwanda

Miko Watanabe
University of Tokyo, 5-1-1 Kashiwanoha Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8563, Japan.


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of mountain gorilla ecotourism in Rwanda in the post-conflict years and beyond. Mountain gorilla ecotourism served as an engine for foreign revenue generation, creating employment opportunities as well as reflecting a positive image of Rwanda internationally. Key factors leading to the regeneration of ecotourism in Rwanda will be examined from institutional, economic, and political viewpoints. Lessons for other regions in the world will be discussed with a particular focus on Cambodia in Asia. Based on the lessons from the mountain gorilla ecotourism in Rwanda, possible implications for AngkorWat in Cambodiawill be examined. The paperwill highlight the following issues: the dichotomy of conservation and tourism development, tripartite collaboration among research groups, the conservation community and the tourism sector, and the challenges of poaching of wildlife and looting of cultural heritage.

Keywords: Ecotourism, Mountain gorillas, Post-conflict recovery, Biodiversity conservation, World heritage, Rwanda, Cambodia, Angkor.

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