Tourism and Encroachment Activities at the Lame Bura Game Reserve, Bauchi State, Nigeria

Tourism and Encroachment Activities at the Lame Bura Game Reserve, Bauchi State, Nigeria

Timothy K. Gontul (University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria), Tina Odinakachi Iirmdu (University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria), Mantau Maisamari (Ministry of Environment, Bauchi, Nigeria), Timchang Nimnan Maikanu (University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria), Istifanus G. Kassam (Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi, Nigeria) and Mary Onyinyechi Uchenna (University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHMDA.2019070103

Abstract

Spectacular, unique natural, and human tourism features in Nigeria have suffered and are still suffering from one form of encroachment or another. The aim of this study was to chronicle all the encroachment activities at the Lame Bura Game Reserve in Bauchi State, Nigeria. The methods used in the study were key informant interviews, focus group discussions and field observation. The qualitative data was analyzed, and the Purposive sampling technique was applied in the study. Findings from the results show that notable forms of encroachment include acquiring land illegally for agriculture, buildings, settlements, livestock grazing, hunting, poaching of wild animals, collections of forest products for medicine, food and timber. In conclusion, it was observed that there are outright contradictions in respecting the policies and conservation laws. It is therefore recommended that there should be urgent implementation of conservation policies and laws governing the establishment and management of protected areas in order to achieve sustainability within protected areas.
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Introduction

Tourism is multi-dimensional and an all-embracing phenomenon as many and varied activities make their own separate and individual contributions to a comprehensive service required by the tourists. These activities though separate are interdependent. Such interdependence implies a need for cooperative effort and common policies. For a strategic plan, the industry is referred to as a combination of core attractions and support amenities. The core attractions are the Natural and Cultural attractions that pull tourists to a destination while the amenities are those facilities and services rendered to the tourists such as transportation, catering and accommodation, marketing and promotion as well as shopping among others which make the travel and stay of the tourists at his destination very convenient and a worthwhile venture. But, when these attractions suffer degradation as a result of encroachment activities, there should be a great need to protect them.

Encroachment activities in the protected areas have seriously been observed as a major cause of degradation of ecosystems in many parts of the world today. Many studies such as (Cavanagh, 2012Vangen, 2009; Agrawal and Redford, 2006), show that, there is no coherent, systematic and effective set of guidelines designed to address conservation at local, national and international levels. It is of little use stressing or emphasizing the importance of nature conservation and the need for establishing functional protected areas in all nations of the world. But it is observed that nearly all of the established protected areas are badly and indiscriminately being encroached by humans in an ever-increasing demand for land to do agriculture, poaching, grazing, settlement, mining, and logging (for timber and fuel wood) among others. Thus, game reserves, forest reserves, parks and other protected areas are losing their natural ecological resources day by day (Mugyenyi, 2005). This study was mainly designed to chronicle all the encroachment activities ongoing inside the Lame Bura game reserve in Bauchi State, Nigeria.

Many developing countries today have large reserves of historical, cultural and natural resources, giving them potential in becoming hot tourist destinations and attracting foreign investments. Nigeria is a land which is highly endowed with many spectacular and unique natural and human tourism features. These features have suffered and are still suffering from one form of encroachment or another. Many studies such as (Cavanagh, 2012; Luzinda, 2008 and Vangen, 2009) have been carried out on encroachment in game reserves and parks across Nigeria and elsewhere, but there are no clear studies of encroachment activities in the Lame Bura game reserve as a tourist attraction. As observed by the researchers there seems to be massive encroachment activities in the Lame Bura game reserve which have led to degradation of the reserves highly valued ecological treasury and other tourist attractions. This situation calls for an urgent inquiry (research) that can eventually evolve recommendations/measures for the sustainability of the Lame Bura game reserve. The Lame Bura game reserve is endowed with very rich biological resources (fauna and flora), geological and hydrological features among other resources. People depend on these resources for food, fiber, shelter, medicine, fuel, tourism and recreation. The dependency on these resources is subject to the reserve’s regeneration capacity given all these forms of threats leading to loss of biological diversity and environmental degradation (Laurance, 1999). The establishment and management of protected areas is one of the most important ways of ensuring that the world’s natural resources are conserved so that they can better meet the material and cultural needs of mankind now and in the future (Laurance, 1999).

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