Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) has announced its first initiative to reward Rwandans and local institutions who excel in forest management to encourage afforestation, reforestation and sustainable forest management.
Adrie Mukashema, the Deputy Director General of Forests and Nature Conservation at Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), said the rewarding scheme targets people and institutions that have worked hard to manage forests.
These people and institutions, Mukashema said, are not working for their own interests but also national and global interests.
“They have to be compensated,” she said.
She explained that the rewarding of the best forest managers, especially local institutions is in line with the law nº47bis/2013 of 28/06/2013 determining the management and utilisation of forests in the country.
The law under article 22 states that local authorities having excelled in sustainable forest management shall receive a reward determined by an Order of the Minister depending on the results of their efforts.
From its definition, a forest is an ecosystem dominated by trees that are above five meters at maturity, where the tree crown cover exceeds 10 per cent of the ground surface and the occupied area is larger than 0.5ha.
This will be one of the eligibility criteria to participate in the competition, among other things.
The time of rewarding is not yet set but the scheme is to be launched this fiscal year.
Mukashema said all requirements for forestry farmers to register for the competition will be made public in due course to allow all Rwandans to participate.
The competition will be fair since the local institutions and citizens will compete separately and the government forests will not be considered as the government (RNRA) will be the evaluator, she said.
She pointed out that alongside the government rewards, the winners will also be connected to the carbon credit projects markets where they can sell their eco-friendly forest activities and get funding.
Even if all people that will meet the registration requirement are eligible, forestry cooperatives are more likely to be more eligible since the latter has more access to our services from the RNRA’s district and sector officials than individual forest farmers and they are more informed, she added.
Experts say sustainable forests management along with afforestation and reforestation helps to reduce the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
So people with good forests management practices owe not only a national recognition but also an international one, Mukashema argued.