GASABO - The government and worldwide conservation partners will boost scientific research to safeguard the country’s wildlife.
This joint effort received unanimous backing from worldwide conservationists during Thursday’s conservation conference at Hotel Novotel in Kigali.
The Minister in the Office of the President in charge of Science, Technology, Scientific Research and ICT, Prof. Romain Murenzi, pointed out that research was the best way to provide the scientific community with enough wildlife conservation knowledge.
Murenzi, who was among the key speakers at the conference, noted that global and regional pressure on wildlife makes research a fundamental action to take to safeguard the rare and vanishing species.
“It is therefore imperative that we increase our scientific understanding of the natural world, to develop solutions and strategies for addressing this challenge,” said the minister.
He added that balancing economic demands with ecological conservation was crucial in reinforcing the development pillars of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 across all sectors.
Murenzi hopes that linking research capacities with national goals and priorities will help to build scientific research in the country’s education system.
Commerce and Industry Minister, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, said a clearly designed wildlife conservation policy was the only significant tool to manage natural resources.
“Although such policy is currently lacking, my ministry has resolved to address it as a matter of urgency,” promised Nsanzabaganwa who also has the tourism portfolio.
The policy will describe the major factors affecting wildlife population, their anticipated benefits and the institutional means of their conservation.
She further pointed out that this will ensure that National Parks act as scientific reference sites for studying the functioning of natural ecosystems and interactions between their different components.
Other speakers at this conference which highly focused on gorilla conservation, included Dr Martha Robbins, who reminded that mountain gorillas’ survival relies on scientific research.
Her PowerPoint presentation was on population dynamics of mountain gorilla families currently reported to have registered an increase despite human threats on the DR Congo side.
Rwanda has since 2005 celebrated gorilla growth with the naming ceremony (Kwita izina) of newborns, an event to be held for the fourth time on June 21, in Kinigi Sector in Musanze District, Northern Province.