Rwanda has allocated 37.7 per cent of its land to conservation activities in part to maximise the economic benefits of nature-rich sites, according Rwanda Development Board (RDB). The plan is contained in the country’s new national land use and development master plan, RDB said at the ongoing UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland where it showcased conservation efforts and climate change preparedness. Rwanda’s conservation efforts aim to maintain and expand the country’s protected areas as key economic assets supporting climate-resilience, and acting as havens for biodiversity and sources of vital ecosystem services, RDB says in a release. Rwanda is also piloting the Payment for Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital Accounts. Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) occurs when a beneficiary or user of an ecosystem service makes a direct or indirect payment to the provider of that service. The idea is that whoever preserves or maintains an ecosystem service should get an incentive for doing so. To promote this model of environmental conservation, RDB says, Rwanda has partnered with Costa Rica in developing a scalable PES system. Rwanda has also developed Natural Capital Accounts for land, water, minerals and ecosystems – key natural resource pillars of economic development and sustainable growth. Natural Capital Accounts (NCA) are an important resource for tracking progress on socioeconomic, environment, and natural resource indicators. Among the recent achievement included newly created Gishwati-Mukura National Park, which has been designated as a Unesco biosphere reserve. In 2016, Gishwati-Mukura was established as a legally protected area and the country’s fourth national park. Four years later, the landscape was named among the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by Unesco $255 million set for expanding volcano national park Rwanda is planning to expand Volcanoes National Park due to its growing mountain gorilla population and vision for community livelihood improvement. A planned outlay of $255 million, the initiative will expand the park by approximately 23 per cent, increasing its size by 37.4 square kilometres or 3,740 hectares. The mountain gorilla population in the Virunga Massif has increased from 480 in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Today, mountain gorillas are the only great ape species increasing in number in the world and the species was recently down-listed from critically endangered to endangered on the IUCN Red List Speaking at the COP26 UN climate conference , Jeanne DArc Mujawamariya, the Minister for Environment said Rwanda is facing climate change effects making the case for green investments. At the summit we have showcased our biodiversity conservation efforts which we have done using limited sources. Rwanda is a destination of green investments, she said. The climate summit is set to close on November 12 with expected agreements on climate finance, carbon market, loss and damage compensation and common timeframes for countries climate plans implementation.