Conservationists convene in Kigali

Ahead of the World Environment Day (WED) celebrations to be hosted by the country this Saturday, conservationists and environmentalists yesterday met in Kigali to discuss biodiversity.
Minister Christopher Bazivamo talks to Dr. Ian Redmond as Executive Secretary Convention on Biological Diversity Ahmed Djoghlaf looks on. (Photo J. Mbanda)
Minister Christopher Bazivamo talks to Dr. Ian Redmond as Executive Secretary Convention on Biological Diversity Ahmed Djoghlaf looks on. (Photo J. Mbanda)

Ahead of the World Environment Day (WED) celebrations to be hosted by the country this Saturday, conservationists and environmentalists yesterday met in Kigali to discuss biodiversity.

The conservation conference which is part of the activities taking place ahead of the WED and the Gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, opened yesterday at Kigali Serena Hotel.

According to the Minister of Environment and Lands, Stanislas Kamanzi, the conference organised by the government in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is focussing on how the world can achieve biodiversity.

“This conservation conference is well in line with the theme of WED this year ‘Many Species, One Planet, One Future’, and we are aiming at understanding the many problems we have in biodiversity conservation with a view of devising solutions collectively as global citizens,” Kamanzi said.

“Biodiversity is wealth and life. The essence of our meeting is to attach the value of preserving biodiversity as part of preserving human kind”.

Presentations on Biodiversity and the benefits of preserving it were made by renowned environmentalists from around the globe and interactive sessions on how best the world can conserve biodiversity and cut carbon emissions.

According to Santinder Bindra, the Director of Communications and Public Information, Rwanda has made a mark as one of the countries attaching great value to biodiversity which is one of the reasons the country was chosen to play host to the WED.

“We decided to choose Rwandan because of its biodiversity strategy, if you look at Nyungwe Forest, with over 500 species of birds, look at the mountain gorillas, the population has increased by over 17 percent, Rwanda is a success story in conserving biodiversity,” Bindra said.

He also cited the country’s green development plans under the Vision 2020, promoting the green economy and banning the plastic bags as some of the key areas that can be highlighted.

The conference was followed later in the evening by the award ceremony of one of the most prominent and prestigious environment awards ceremony-the Energy Globe TV Gala, which is part of WED.

The event which was broadcast live around the world attracted numerous high-ranking international members of government as well as prominent personalities.

As part of the activities, delegates will participate in community work (Umuganda) which will take place at Nyandungu Marshland where a tree planting campaign will be conducted in the degraded swamp.

The major event takes place on Saturday at Kinigi at the foot of the Volcanoes where 14 baby gorillas will be named by local and international personalities.

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