Gazetted areas are reserved areas such as forests, national parks that have been protected from population settlement encroachment for the purpose of preserving the environment.
As the world celebrates the World Environment Day, the Government of Rwanda has achieved a lot in terms of preserving the environment.
According to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, Rwanda was nominated to host the World Environment Day because environmental protection is one of the pillars of the economy and developmental growth.
Rwanda’s wildlife is one of the richest and most diversified as a resource, it is of great importance nationally and internationally. Hence, several of Rwanda’s protected areas have become internationally renowned.
The theme for the World Environment Day (WED), ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future’, focuses on the globe’s wealth of species and ecosystems in line with this year’s UN International Year of Biodiversity.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, “Rwanda’s combination of environmental richness, including rare and economically-important species such as the mountain gorilla, allied with newly evolving and pioneering green policies, is among the reasons why UNEP welcomed its offer to be the global 2010 host.”
The gazetted areas in Rwanda such as the Volcano’s National Park, Nyungwe forest and Akagera National Park have played a key role in preserving the environment.
These areas act as water catchment areas and are useful in many ways, from the protection of soil to the supplying of water for hydroelectricity.
Forest canopies shelter the soil surface while roots anchor soil and rocks. This helps to prevent erosion, avalanches, and rock fall in mountainous areas.
Mountain forests are also an important source of water for irrigation and power generation. By releasing water slowly, they reduce downstream flooding. Forests produce timber and other products, and fuel for local populations.
They have exceptional biodiversity due to the inaccessibility between valleys, but many species are unfortunately also endangered.
Besides that, protected national parks are the economic potential of wildlife utilisation for the local communities in Rwanda. For this reason, conservation policies are in place that recognise that special emphasis must be placed on wildlife utilisation schemes that benefit the local people living in or around wildlife areas.
Akagera national park is also among the most scenic of savanna reserves, it has splendid forest-fringed lakes, tall mountains that have played a major role in ecosystem conservation.
The Volcanoes Park is highly organized and the most popular gorilla sanctuary in Africa; this factor has also played a role in Rwanda’s gorilla tourism that has become one of the country’s leading tourist revenue earner.
The volcanoes National park’s consists of a set of volcanoes and this chain of steep, all free standing mountains linked by fertile saddles which were formed by solidified lava flows, is one of the most stirring and memorable sights East Africa.
For this reason, preserving the environment should be every nation’s priority in order to fight against globe warming.