Gishwati Forest Reserve in Western Province has been accorded a lifeline by hosting the national conservation park for ecological research and education.
This follows the September pact signed between the Government and Great Apes Trust, a US-based environmental organisation, to establish such a park in any suitable part of the country.
The Great Apes Trust and Earth Park agents, led by founder, Ted Townsend, are in the country to jointly (with the government) develop a project framework for establishment of the park.
Chantal Rugamba, director general of Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN), confirmed Townsend and his team are here to finalise the deal to save the vanishing greenbelt of the country.
Rugamba said that finalising the shared conservation project would be a major step in guaranteeing the future of the country’s natural resources.
“The project comes at a better time we need it to address the main challenging aspects like habitat loss to our sustainable nature conservation efforts,” she said.
The project is expected to back up the ORTPN’s pro-ecological campaign with a theme; ‘Conservation of Wildlife Concerns Us All’, which was launched at a recent gorilla-naming ceremony.
It is also anticipated to enhance research knowledge on the world’s rapidly diminishing number of great apes, as stipulated by the September agreement. The move to finalise the set up of the park comes after two months of the launch of forest conservation partnership by the two parties in New York, US.
The partnership commits the government and Great Apes Trust to a range of forest protection and conservation measures of creating additional habitat for the country’s gorillas and chimpanzees.