African countries should coordinate to develop and promote best practices in environmental conservation, Stanislas Kamanzi, the Minister of Natural Resources, has urged.
The Minister was addressing participants at the ongoing international workshop on watershed modelling and management in Kigali
He observed that sharing challenges would spur the development of appropriate techniques to protect natural resources.
The meeting attracted representatives from the US and 15 African countries including Tanzania, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Zambia, Uganda and Rwanda among others.
“Many people depend on watersheds. It is therefore important to work as a team to confront the new and complex challenges such as climate change,” Kamanzi said.
“In Rwanda, the current population growth calls for a suitable mechanism to protect resources”.
Organised by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the meeting aims at sharing experiences and challenges as well as accessing developed models in watershed management.
The Country Director of WCS, Dr. Michel Masozera, said the meeting also aims at creating awareness, not only on the importance of better handling of land, but also the negative impact of poor land management.
“We developed modules of watershed management and carried out operations in three key national forest sites, including our own Nyungwe, Ruaha in Tanzania and Luangwa in Zambia,” Masozera said.
He explained that the findings would galvanise a baseline on appropriate land use measures.
Some of the participants who spoke to The New Times were hopeful that the workshop would encourage the promotion or development of better strategies to manage watersheds.
“We are facing similar challenges in this field and, therefore, it’s our pleasure to learn and ensure that the skills are taken back home,” said Martin Hega, a participant from Gabon.