Rwanda is set to plant more than 36 million trees to build resilience to climate change. The announcement was made on Saturday October 29, during Umuganda community work in which Rwanda Environment Journalists Organization (REJ) as well as different embassies in Rwanda also participated. The investment to increase forest coverage, prevent erosion and clean the air is part of activities to mark the 47th anniversary of National Tree Planting Day under the theme Plant a Tree, Save the Future.” Launching the Forest Planting Season at the Kigali Special Economic Zone, the Minister of Environment, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, said that the tree planting is timely as Rwanda is facing climate change effects. “When we plant trees, we invest in the future. Trees are one of our greatest allies in the fight against the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis and the air pollution crisis. This Forest Planting Season, I encourage all Rwandans to plant a tree and save the future. Plant at least three trees in your garden, your school or your community,” she advised. During this year’s tree planting season, a total of 26,227,930 agroforestry seedlings, 7,609,374 classic forest seedlings, 1,601,931 fruit trees and 1,014,400 bamboo trees will be planted. 44,660 native trees In the City of Kigali, 20 hectares of forest will be rehabilitated while 44,660 native tree seedlings and 191,714 fruit trees will be planted. Researchers in Rwanda are tirelessly carrying out experiments on 20 degraded indigenous (native) tree species so as to recommend those that are resistant to drought and can sequester large quantities of carbon dioxide to cope with climate change. So far five hectares of land at the Special Economic Zone are now planted with indigenous tree species. “The city is committed to green growth and trees are part of investments to ensure a green city,” said Pudence Rubingisa, the Mayor of City of Kigali. The move is dedicated to maintaining existing forests and increasing community involvement and ownership in forest restoration. It will also be an opportunity to highlight the role of partners and stakeholders to boost productivity, impact and sustainability in the forestry sector. Agroforestry trees will also be planted along contour lines and terraces created on farmland in collaboration with communities. Rwanda is set to invest $92 million in development of Agroforestry and Sustainable Agriculture by 2030. Mujawamariya said that citizens are also being encouraged to plant fruit trees in their gardens and on agricultural land to improve food security. In 2011, Rwanda committed to bringing two million hectares of land under restoration by 2030 through the Bonn Challenge. Today, 30.4 percent of Rwanda’s surface area is covered by forests. The Government of Rwanda is working with a range of partners to conduct forest and landscape restoration to meet the country’s commitment under the Bonn Challenge. So far, forest coverage in Rwanda stands at 30.4 per cent. Rwanda seeks to reduce 38 per cent of its emissions by 2030 or 4.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.