Rwanda to restore all its forests by 2035 – Minister

KIGALI – The Minister for Lands and Environment, Stanislas Kamanzi, Wednesday told the Ninth Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), in New York, that by 2035, Rwanda will have achieved a major countrywide forest landscape restoration.

The minister was speaking at the Global launch of the International Year of Forests.

“By Year 2035, Rwanda will have achieved a countrywide reversal of the current degradation of soil; land, water and forest resources to improve the quality and resilience and provide new opportunities for rural livelihoods,” Kamanzi told the UN.

He said that this will ensure sustainable agricultural production and food security, adequate water and energy supplies and as well safeguard the country’s biological diversity.

“In the short-term, by the year 2015, the government and its partners will develop a comprehensive action plan of the initiative and prompt forest landscape restoration activities, in line with national development priorities”.

The implementation of the Rwanda Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative is set to start this year.

The initiative is a collaborative endeavour with the UNFF and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and other members of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration.

Kamanzi, who reiterated Rwanda’s strong commitment to this initiative, stressed that the event was an opportune time to take stock of respective country achievements, capitalize on best practices from success stories, but to also underscore where countries have been consistently failing, so they can redefine their objectives in the short, medium and longer terms.

For Rwanda, he pointed out, resolute undertakings were initiated to redress past negative bearings on the environment.

These, he said, are based on appropriate forward looking policies and commensurate legislation, but most importantly, on the involvement of the citizenry at all levels, by way of crystallizing their ownership in this connection.

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