During the official launch of the UN’s ‘International Year of Forests, the Rwanda’s environment minister made a formal commitment, that the government in Kigali would restore the ancient forest belt across the country by 2035.
While this may for the uninformed observer sound like a long time, and a huge task, readers will be happy to note that these efforts are already underway in ‘the land of a thousand hills’ as Rwanda is also known by her friends abroad.
Making the Nyungwe Forest a national park three years ago started a process of conscious re-forestation in areas where too many trees had been cut, so as to preserve not only the significant bio diversity but also to protect the water catchment areas and enhance the micro climate.
It is also thought that more ‘productive’ measures in farming will enhance food security across the country by giving better yields, allowing alongside the closing of gaps in forests which generations ago continued across the country right into neighboring Congo.
Rwanda is working hand in hand with key international partners to achieve her goals and has on several occasions in the past already been singled out as a shining example for others how best to safeguard the environment.
Tourism too has been enhanced by adding the new ‘products’ like forest canopy walks, hiking in forests with guides to explore the flora and fauna hitherto hidden in literally impenetrable terrain and even ecofriendly cycling tours have been introduced in Nyungwe for the more sports minded visitor.