The Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC)
Established in 1991, the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) is a post-graduate research and training Institute of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). ITFC is a leading research institution located on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), a UNESCO World Heritage site in South West Uganda. The Institute has 22 years of experience in ecological and sociological research and monitoring for tropical forest conservation, with increasing interest and capacity in anthropogenic influences on conservation. Bwindi has numerous endemic species and is a sanctuary of half the world’s mountain gorillas (Gorilla berengei berengei), which have attracted a valuable tourism industry through gorilla trekking, international and national research and other related activities. The surrounding communities are poor and densely populated (about 500 people/km2) with people mainly dependent on subsistence agriculture. Forest cover stops abruptly at the park boundary.