A Rwandan environmentalist, Madeleine Nyiratuza, has been appointed to spearhead a landmark forest restoration and ecological research effort in Africa. She was jointly picked by the US-based Great Ape Trust, Earthpark and Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).
The development followed Nyiratuza’s earlier appointment as the coordinator for the recently established Gishwati Area Conservation Programme in the Western Province.
The appointment was based on Nyiratuza’s academic strength, proven competence, and her zeal for involvement in community conservation programmes which has earned her the much-needed experience, and thus an edge of over 29 other candidates.
“Her credibility is based on the right mix of on-ground experience, academic preparation and commitment to local community involvement and awareness in conservation programmes,” the Director of Great Ape Trust, Dr. Benjamin Beck, was quoted as saying in a communiqué.
The Gishwati Area Conservation Programme is a collaborative programme between the Rwandan Government, Great Ape Trust, a scientific research facility, and Earthpark, a national environmental education centre based in the US.
The programme seeks to reduce poverty threat and to promote conservation activities by improving water quality, controlling floods, promotion of eco-tourism and enhancing local employment.
The project will also develop a chimpanzee field study site in Gishwati, and a 30 mile (50km) tree corridor to connect the Gishwati forest reserve and the chimpanzee’s home range to Nyungwe Park.