Environmental experts from East African Community partner states and the Democratic Republic of Congo are in Kigali to finalise a project that will formulate a report on the state of biodiversity in the Albertine Rift.
The report, which will be the first at the regional level, aims at identifying factors that affect the environment so as to collectively deal with or devise means of protecting the region.
“We conducted surveys in the specialised areas of interest and we are also considering each country`s state of environment report,” said Sam Kanyamibwa, Executive Secretary of Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS).
He explained that the report will give an overall state of biodiversity and conservation initiatives in the Albertine Rift region.
Kanyamibwa noted that this will further strengthen cooperation as well as guide respective governments to come up with policies that protect the environment in the region.
Presiding over the event, the Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, commended ARCOS’s efforts in bringing together states to address the problem.
“We can never underestimate the impact of qualitative and well-presented environmental data on the process of legislation and policy,” Kamanzi said.
He also highlighted measures the government has put in place for environmental protection.
“Through the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA), we initiated monitoring programs in natural reserves and outside protected areas, particularly in wetlands,” he said.
Established in 1995, ARCOS is a regional organisation focusing on the conservation of the Albertine Rift biodiversity, which stretches from the north of Lake Albert in Uganda to the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika.