The National Forestry Authority (NAFA) is currently drafting a new three-year strategic plan to be implemented in managing forest resources and optimize their economic and ecological functions in a sustainable manner.
Speaking to officials in the forestry sector during a workshop held in Kigali yesterday, the Minister of Forestry and Mineral Resources, Christophe Bazivamo, said that the underlying goal of the strategy is to increase institutional support to forestry stakeholders as well as raise public awareness of the importance of forests.
“When someone wants to start a farm, he or she easily clears or burns away part of forest cover without evaluating the impact this might cause,” Bazivamo said.
“The forestry sector must get due attention and support it needs so that we can all have a safe and beneficial environment”.
Bazivamo also noted that the government perceives environmental protection as one priority area that is a strong pillar to sustainable development.
“Through the National Forestry Fund, the government directly supports and replenishes the sector. This goodwill and commitment it shows must flow into the public so that they can utilize forests in a conservative manner,” he said.
The Director General of NAFA, Frank Rutabingwa, told the stakeholders that the new forestry strategy will support the implementation of several plans with an aim of improving the management of forest resources.
“In the next 3 years, we will seek to increase the area and diversity of national forest resources through agro-forestry research as well as carry out forestry education in schools and communities,” Rutabingwa said.
He added that NAFA will train and support farmers to engage in agro-forestry and forestry seed business.
“Our strategy will pursue the same overall goal of the forest policy, which aims to make the forestry sector one of the bedrocks for sustainable economic development of the country,” Rutabingwa added.