This study estimates the full range of benefits for protecting the use and non-use values of the Lake George wetlands, and the costs of maintaining the benefits flowing from them, so as to derive an estimate of its economic performance. The results indicated that, the Lake George wetlands supplied tangible benefits to the fishing communities, amounting to 0.44% only of all the annual economic benefits of Lake George wetlands in 2004. The intangible but nonetheless important services to the peoples’ livelihoods in the fishing villages accounted for about 99.56% during the same period. Management accounted for at least 3% while wildlife related damage costs (borne by the villages) were the highest at 53.5%. The net social cost benefit of conserving the Lake George wetlands in 2004 was USD 56.4 million or UGS 101.2 billion while the NPV (R = 10.64; t = 25) was USD 491 million. Whereas protection of the Lake George wetlands still remains a viable option, the tangible benefits from the wetlands still remain to be fully realized; the tangible benefits of wetlands are minimal and the local peoples’ interest in protecting the wetland is therefore low. It is recommended that in Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), 1) tangible benefits as further motivation and creation of local interest in the wetland should be considered, 2) the linkages between use values and ecosystem functions of the wetland must be stressed, and 3) ways of reducing wildlife related damage to the fishing village community lives and property should be discovered.
Key words: Use and non-use values, costs and benefits, net present value.