Rwanda, Rhineland Palatinate partner to protect biodiversity

The Government of Rwanda and Rhineland Palatinate, one of the states of the Federal Republic of Germany, have embarked to implement partnership agreement inprotection of biodiversity and endangered species in Nyungwe and Cyamudongo forests.

The progress was identified during the visit to Rwanda by Ulrike Hofken, the Minister for Environment from the Rhineland Palatinate state with focus on the development of the partnership based collaboration in conserving biodiversity.

Rwanda’s Environment minister Dr Vincent Biruta said the visit is in line with a partnership agreement signed last year between Nyungwe National Park of Rwanda and Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park of Germany.

Nyungwe National Park is a catchment area of 70 per cent of the country’s water resources.

“Last year, we signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with Rhineland Palatinate to enhance tourism opportunities in Nyungwe National Park and Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park of German to boost the former’s capacity to receive more tourists and marketing it to the world,” he said.

He said they are in Rwanda on a fact-finding mission and will be assessing areas of intervention and the required budget.

“We also visited the environmental museum and discussed the way to revamp it to the extent that it attracts more tourists and other people who want to learn more about environmental protection in Rwanda,” he added.

The delegation also visited another project funded by Rhineland, which serves to conserve Cyamudongo Forest through planting indigenous trees and agro-forestry around its buffer zone, sustainable agriculture which contributes to the protection of biodiversity and geo-ecological functions by reducing land use pressure. This project is jointly implemented by University of Koblenz, Landau and RDB. By planting indeginous trees to connect Cyamudongo forest to Nyungwe forest.

Prof. Eberhard Fischer, a botanist from University of Koblenz and Landau who has been carrying out research in biodiversity of Nyungwe Park and Cyamudongo forest, said that the latter has unique biodiversity which should be protected for environmental and economic benefits.

Besides planting trees, the Cyamudongo project focuses on educating guides in the forest to know about the biodiversity and its protection, according to Fischer.  They also train students from Kitabi College of  environment

The project also partners with primary schools and local farmers in planting trees to educate and mobilise young Rwandans for biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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