This year’s edition of the “Conversation on Conservation” that took place in Kigali this week ended with a call from participants to invest more in technology innovations to sustain the country’s conservation efforts.
The forum, the fourth of its kind, brought together over 500 conservationists from across the world, and was running under the theme: Advancing Conservation with Technology.
It was organised ahead of the 14th edition of Kwita Izina, expected to take place on September 7 when 23 baby gorillas will be named.
Part of the resolutions by the participants was the call to actively invest in technological innovations that would contribute to Rwanda’s conservation efforts.
Among others, the forum resolved that Rwanda Development Board (RDB) should establish a national wildlife laboratory to allow for the use of advanced technologies in the country, as well as develop a platform allowing young people to showcase their technological innovations related to conservation.
Participants also argued that there is need to establish a database, information management system and biodiversity centre.
Eugène Mutangana, head of conservation at RDB, told The New Times that all these were being seriously considered and could be implemented to support the Government’s work in conservation.
“Conservation with technologies is not a new approach but it’s not yet utilised and looked at in depth in Rwanda. But the two-day conference has given us an opportunity to understand some of the systems that can be used in conservation,” he said.
Mutangana also highlighted that they looked at other technology applications that Rwanda can adopt in areas of tracking and monitoring, as well as management of wetlands, among others.
“We are already thinking of big projects that can leverage technology, advance research and better management of our national parks, all of which collectively advance conservation in Rwanda,” he noted.
Meanwhile, at the forum, some students who developed outstanding innovations in conservations were awarded.
Mutangana said that was partly to encourage young people to engage in conservation but also the general public to invest in this field, saying that it has the potential to create more jobs and generate income.