The Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, has described the border–to-border restoration of the forest landscape initiative that the country has embarked on as an important milestone.
He made the remarks yesterday at the opening of a three-day meeting to discuss the implementation of the ambitious plan.
The plan was announced in February this year at the launch of the International Year of Forests. Government plans to integrate landscape restoration into its national development plans.
“Let me thank everyone for taking your time to come here as we mark an important milestone towards effectively setting off activities relevant to this important initiative,” Kamanzi said at the opening.
He noted that Rwanda’s over-dependence on land resources has resulted in advanced levels of land degradation which need to be controlled for sustainable development to be achieved.
“Succeeding in the landscape restoration endevour will be very important for us,” he said.
The Minister observed that though the undertaking may appear as a challenge, it is within reach. “The nation has established strong and cutting-edge policies and regulations relevant to the management of the environment and natural resources. These provide a sound framework for real transformation to take place in this connection.”
He emphasised that as the meeting ensues, they will not be starting from scratch as regard vis-à-vis the targeted activities because Rwanda has for the past years embarked on a variety of initiatives.
He mentioned these as the intensive soil conservation and erosion control, afforestation and on-farm tree planting as part of the national food security agenda.
Speaking to The New Times, the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre Dr. Dennis P. Garrity, who is a participant said the initiative is a major undertaking for Rwanda.
He said that during the meeting, they would try to draw examples from several neighbouring countries to come up with a framework.
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has raised Rwanda’s resource allocation framework by an additional US$6 million (approximately Rwf3.6 billion) to help initiate the Rwanda landscape restoration initiative.