Over 40 million trees are projected to be planted during the forthcoming National Tree Week -- slated for mid November.
This was disclosed during a conference on forest conservation and protection of the Ecosystem in the Great Lakes Region, which was attended by countries that share the region’s natural and artificial forests.
“We are anticipating that 40 million trees will be planted in the forthcoming National Tree Week. It is going to be a huge boost to the country’s ecosystem,” said Claude Habimana, the head of Aforestation Support Program (PAREF).
He further revealed that more trees need to be planted and urged the public to participate in the tree planting initiative, not only during the tree week but even in their daily lives.
“In Rwanda, forests cover 545,000 hectares, and both small and big forests constitute 19 percent, but in 2020 we need to have 30 percent. This calls for more efforts,” he noted.
The Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, while opening the meeting, acknowledged the efforts put in by the Great Lakes and Central African regions in sustaining and developing forests and other natural resources that complete the ecosystem.
He further underscored that Rwanda’s development plan incorporates the promotion and conservation of natural resources such as land and forests, as one of the sure ways of adding value and having productive forests.
“Adding value to our natural resources especially forests has been prioritised by the government. We are encouraging investors and other stakeholders to contribute to this cause,” explained Kamanzi.
The minister added that Rwanda has unique trees which are highly valuable but also counterproductive and that therefore the country needs a proper strategy and plan to conserve them adequately, with the proper guidance and team work from other conservationists.
Among the countries that attended the meeting were: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Central African Republic and others that form the Union of Ecosystem and Forestry Conservation (CEFDHAC) in the Great Lakes and Central Africa.
The public was urged to participate in the forthcoming tree planting week, and to also develop it as a culture to improve the ecosystem.