July 16, 2024

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Rwanda reaches 40% of the 2 million hectares to be restored under AFR100 Initiative

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

Rwanda’s Minister of Environment Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya has revealed that800,000 hectares of land have been brought under restoration since 2011 representing 40% of the total 2 million hectares committed by Rwanda through African Forestry and Restoration Initiative (AFR100).

Dr. Mujawamariya revealed Rwanda ‘Landscapes Restoration progress on Tuesday at an event titled: A New Phase for AFR100: Accelerating Africa’s Land Restoration Movement held at the Nature Zone pavilion in the COP26 Blue Zone.

AFR100 (the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative) is a country-led effort to bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030.

This initiative contributes to the Bonn Challenge, the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), the African Union Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals and other targets.

On Rwanda’s contribution into this Initiative, Dr. Mujawamariya explained that the Government of Rwanda recognises the importance of Bonn Challenge and AFR100 in forest Landscape Restoration to sustain the country’s economy and people’s livelihoods.

She noted that the Government has geared up efforts towards transformative landscape investment in line with the country’s vision 2050 through Nationally Determined Contributions and National transformation strategy which aim to achieve a sustainable and carbon neutral economy through sustainable forest management and preservation of national forests ecosystems.

Restoration also is being undertaken through agroforestry

“Restoration is being undertaken through afforestation, agroforestry, sustainable management of the existing forests, protection and restoration of natural forests ecosystems and establishing protective forests.” Dr. Mujawamariya explained.

According to the Minister, implementation of these transitions will contribute towards multiple sustainable development objectives including agriculture productivity, food security, increased rural incomes, improved water supplies, increased resilience to climate change and reduced vulnerability to landslides, floods and other disasters.

Furthermore, she adds, “the recent analysis displayed that 800,000 hectares of land have been brought under restoration since 2011 representing 40% of the total commitment by Rwanda.”

She also highlighted that 186,000 green jobs were created between 2014 and 2020 with women participating in more than 60% of these jobs.

Statistics also show that a total of US$ 560 million have been invested in Landscape Restoration, according to the Bonn Challenge bolometer Study.

In 2012, Rwanda established a National Climate and Environment Fund, FONERWA, to not only mobilise resources for National wide landscape approaches among others but to also demonstrate commitment to combating climate change.

Rwanda’s Minister of Environment participating in a tree planting exercise. Photo: File

“Today is a great opportunity for us all to reflect on how to surpass just ambitious commitments of hectares and craft concrete actions on the ground to address what remains a persistent challenge.” Minister Dr. Mujamariya said.

“To reach our target we need to secure more resources, knowledge sharing and strengthen our collaboration and partnerships aimed at collectively restoring 100 million hectares of land in Africa by 2030.” She added.

She concluded her remarks noting that the Government of Rwanda remains committed to playing its part and supporting continental effort and “I hope that AFR100 will continue to inspire opportunities in the form of pledges and strategies to realise real results on the ground.”

“Now is the time to take action.”

Ends

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