The Chamber of Deputies, on Tuesday, received the bill on the sustainable management and utilization of forests in the country.
The draft, reviews the current Law established in 1988 which falls short on implementation measures and is considered to have been overtaken by events.
The Bill was tabled by the Minister of Forestry and Mines, Christophe Bazivamo, who said the new legislation provides for management policy, proper harvesting guidelines, implementation, and punishment for violators.
The minister said that currently 557,000 hectors of land in the country are covered by trees, both natural and planted.
He added that about 90 percent of Rwandans depend on firewood as source of energy and efforts were underway to promote the use of alternative energy.
Cutting trees for firewood has been one of the major causes for deforestation over the years.
“The campaign has started in various sectors, especially in prisons, where modern methods of cooking, like using biogas, are used,” he said.
Bazivamo said that as a way of promoting conservation of forests, they had embarked on a sensitization campaign, saying that the majority of the public were ignorant of the dangers of deforestation.
The minister assured legislators that no person will be denied the right to harvest private forests but the government will guide them on proper use.
After a long debate, the bill was unanimously endorsed by the House and sent to the responsible committee for further studies and review.