The National Action Programme (NAP) to fight desertification will be ready by October this year, Lands and Environment Minister Christophe Bazivamo has said.
The programme is required by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).Rwanda is among the African countries that haven’t yet submitted the NAP to UNCCD secretariat.
Other countries behind schedule include Cameroon, Angola, Somalia, Libya, Ivory Cost and Central Africa.
“We delayed to have NAP in place as early as possible but they (UNCCD) should realise that our efforts to halt desertification have reached at remarkable stage,” Bazivamo said yesterday.
Bazivamo said that NAP’s key role will be to promote the UNCCD activities in the country.
Tree-planting on degraded land, the fight against soil erosion through ploughing of radical terraces in hilly areas are some of the activities required.
He said that the ten-year national action plan that encompasses the required UNCCD effort and other essential activities for protection of land and its vegetation cover is in place.
Asked why the NAP had been delayed, Bazivamo pointed out financial constraints.“They (UNCCD Secretariat) had promised us $80,000 (approx Frw43.2m) to fund the exercise, but unfortunately up to now they haven’t honoured their promise,” he explained The minister said the government later on decided to fund the exercise, which is nearing completion.
According to UNCCD, a standard NAP must be participative approach involving the local communities.
It also spells out the practical steps and measures to be taken to combat desertification in specific ecosystem.Ends