Rwanda’s PM commends IUCN and AWF for APAC22 as he calls for robust Environmental Protection Policies in Africa
By A nge de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente has commended the International Union for Conservation of Nature and African Wildlife foundation for partnering with the Government of the Republic of Rwanda in organizing the Africa Protected Area Congress which is taking place in Kigali from this Monday, 18 to 23 July, 2022
Officially opening the congress, Dr. Edouard Ngirente said “I’d like to start by thanking the International Union for Conservation of Nature, African Wildlife foundation for partnering with us to organize this Africa Protected Area Congress here in Kigali.”
He said that the government of Rwanda has made biodiversity conservation as one of the national priorities.
“This is because we know that biodiversity conservation plays a key role in supporting our economic development through different sectors.” PM Ngirente said.
He explained that “Many people are directly or indirectly employed by the sector and its associated activities”, citing tourism as one of the key pillars of Rwanda’s economy that the Government must pay special attention to.
“Like other African economies and globally, tourism is one of the sector’s most negatively affected by COVID-19 pandemic.” PM Ngirente said
“Although the sector is now recovering in terms of the number of tourists visiting the country, the effects will be felt for some time.” He added
He, however, noted that the Government of Rwanda has developed various green initiatives that will try to fill the gaps caused by the COVID 19 on economy and specifically on the Environment sector.
“About two hours ago, we launched the Nyandungu Ecotourism Park. This urban wetlands has been transformed from integrated wetlands to an educational and recreational facility. Conservation of biodiversity, and sustaining our economy in our ecosystem are the key enablers in promoting green and sustainable development. From our different green initiatives, Rwanda has now achieved its target of more than 30% of national forest cover.” PM Ngirente said.
On the continent level, PM Ngirente reminded that Africa is rich in biodiversity, perhaps the richest in the world. “We have the most beautiful rivers, forests, mountains and a variety of wildlife that can only be found on this continent. We must therefore spare more effort in protecting and conserving biodiversity.” He said
“Africa hosts significant natural resources that can be used to promote industrialization and structural economic transformation. This can be done through value addition strategies in all sectors.” He added.
“Given the huge social and economic benefits of protected and conserved areas, It is my conviction that this African protected areas Congress will chart a pathway toward resilience and sustainable conservation of biodiversity for economic transformation.” He said.
“There is also an urgent need for African countries to increase the level of investment in biodiversity and ecosystem services. This calls for strong public and private partnership in sustainably protecting, restoring and managing Africa’s rich biodiversity. It is high time that African policymakers put in place strong measures and strategies to ensure that devastation of biodiversity is stopped.
These policy measures are of a big importance in assisting Africa to realise full benefits from each conservation effort for each people and therefore, looking forward to the consensus of this Congress toward environmental conservation, and especially when it comes to raising sustainable and sufficient funding for protecting our environments.” PM Ngirente said as he concluded his remarks.