When most people visit Rwanda they are very surprised to learn about the country’s focus on the environment. However, Rwanda’s efforts to maintain and improve the earth is a focus of everyone in the country, including President Kagame. From outlawing plastic bags to protecting its national parks for wildlife, Rwanda intends to protect its land, and is now receiving international recognition for its efforts.
This was the introduction of an email to me regarding Rwanda recently being awarded a Green Globe Award.
Rwanda received the award for “its restoration of the Rugezi-Bulera-Ruhondo wetland, an area that used to be severly damaged due to drainage, clearing, livestock, and overharvesting.” The Rwanda Environment Management Authority was the primary body responsible for restoring this wetland and is now getting some well-deserved recognition for it.
The Green Globe Award was given to Rwanda at an awards ceremony in the middle of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan. On accepting the award, Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, head of Rwanda’s Environmental Management Agency, did a good job of conveying to us all the great value of the wetlands they restored:
Rugezi wetland restoration brings ecological and societal substantial benefits because on one hand, this ecosystem serves as a corridor for migratory birds and fishes, and provides habitat to many species of plants and animals, including endangered and threatened species; and on the other hand, this wetland has a global component but at the same time it is a water reservoir for hydropower which provides electricity for our people. So, Rugezi wetland is a testimony of Rwanda Government efforts towards sustainable management of natural resources for development.
It is such an inspiration to see sustainability efforts and successes like this going on in a place you wouldn’t expect to be so focused on the environment. It’s nice to see Rwanda acting as an example for the world on this front.