Rwanda, US ecologists unveil conservation deal

ENVIRONMENT - US-based nature conservation groups, Earthpark and Great Apes Trust, have announced a ten-year forest protection project for Rwanda.
Lands and Environment Minister, Christophe Bazivamo
Lands and Environment Minister, Christophe Bazivamo

ENVIRONMENT - US-based nature conservation groups, Earthpark and Great Apes Trust, have announced a ten-year forest protection project for Rwanda.

In a joint press statement, the two groups unveiled their plan to launch a Rwanda conservation park and field station in the US.

The site is aimed at promoting reforestation and conservation, and research to enhance knowledge of the world’s rapidly diminishing number of great apes.

Lands and Environment Minister, Christophe Bazivamo said yesterday that such support is a great push to the country’s attempt to restore the lost greenbelt.

“We are interested in such international conservation supports more especially in the field of research,” Bazivamo said.

He however said that he is yet to get the details of the project and its implementation.

“What I can comment on is the research part of it which is helpful to identify nature creatures missing from our forests,” he added.

The groups’ statement showed that the location of the project will be in Earthpark’s unique 240-acre environmental centre in Iowa State.

“The government of Rwanda will identify, dedicate and protect in perpetuity a region of ecologically significant size to create its National Conservation Park,” the statement read in part.

Then, the Earthpark and Great Ape Trust will establish a field station in this park for research and promotion of reforestation and conservation of great apes.

The shared passion and commitment of both parts to preserve and restore country’s destroyed precious forests by many factors was reportedly the centre of partnership.

“Our partnership with Rwanda represents a landmark event of reinforcing our goal to protect the world’s rapidly vanishing forests and natural resources,” Ted Townsend, founder of Earthpark and Great Ape Trust, said.

He added: “Our 10-year commitment in Rwanda coincides with our goals for Earthpark within the first decade of operation.

We expect to have 10 million on-site visitors, 100,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) trained and certified teachers.”
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