Monthly Archives: January 2014

Balancing Conservation and Development in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Photo by UWA


This study is a comprehensive economic analysis of Queen Elizabeth National Park’s revenue and expenditures. Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in Southwest Uganda. It is the most visited park in Uganda, welcoming over 34,000 visitors annually and generating more than $1,705,000 US per year in tourist expenditures. The researchers spent three weeks in the field at Queen Elizabeth National Park, and three weeks in the capital city of Kampala, Uganda to assemble a collection of literature, statistics, and interviews with all stakeholders to fully analyze the national park’s current level of economic efficiency. The study includes data on stakeholder incentives and interests, community relations, resource extraction, economic appraisals of wildlife, and accountability. The researchers ultimately concluded that while Queen Elizabeth is currently profitable, it is not yet reaching its full potential for either conservation efforts or revenue generation, largely due to conflicting stakeholder interests and the results of miscommunication. As such, the park is not playing the larger role in national economic development that it could be. Several closing recommendations to increase efficiency, productivity, and sustainable conservation within the park, and expand QENP’s impact on national development are included in this report.

Here is the paper:   Balancing Conservation and Development



2014 Gates Letter


The annual Gates Letter was released today, highlighting some of the current and popular ‘myths’ of development. These myths include:

“Poor countries are doomed to stay poor,”
“Foreign aid is a big waste,” and
“Saving lives leads to overpopulation.”

The justification for this myth busting, simplified for easy conveyance to readers who may not be as well-versed in development jargon, agrees with much of the current data of growth and aid from the experts, at least from the United States. What this letter succeeds at is putting a (perhaps overly) optimistic spin on the recent history and future of the ‘bottom billion.’ It asserts that aid and development programs have been good for the least developed countries, and that  prospects are continually looking up.

The letter also includes a few cool graphics such as this one on the difference between GDP distribution between 1960 and 2012-


You can also check out what some development experts thought of the letter and the accuracy of the debunked myths.


Poverty Map, Rhino Hunting, Coffee, Kenyan Girls; LIL


Links I Liked:

1. The Times posted this interactive map a couple weeks ago, showing poverty levels across the United States.

2. A controversial Rhino Hunting license just became available for black rhinos, an endangered species.

3. Common Mistakes when Brewing Coffee – for a self-acclaimed coffee lover this taught me a few things.

4. Shattering Rape Culture in Kenya

Piranhas, Super Powers, Ivory, South Sudan; LIL

Photograph by Rennett Stowe

Links I Liked:

In the Chris Blattman style I have decided to add to this blog the occasional posted links that I have found interesting, informative, or simply beautiful. And as always a photo from the natural world will be included at the top.

1. Borrowed from Blattman’s page: The Truth about Piranhas

2. Most Beautiful Villages from Around the World

3. Super Powers Illustrated Chart

4. China Destroys 6 Tons of Illegal Ivory

5. The Best Article on the Current Conflict in South Sudan that I have read thus far.