IUCN Rwanda joined Government of Rwanda to celebrate international day of Forests, Water and Meteo
Every year, Government of Rwanda joins the rest of the world to mark International Day of Forests, Water and Meteo. These three global events are an opportunity to highlight the importance of forests, water, and weather in our daily lives.
International Day of Forests 2023 was celebrated on the theme, ‘Forests and Health,’ which calls for giving, not just taking, recognizing that healthy forests will bring healthy people.
In Rwanda, the three days are celebrated together in recognition of the interconnectedness and interdependencies of Forests, Water and Meteo. In line with the celebration of the three Days, IUCN Rwanda joined Rwanda to celebrate international day of Forests, Water and Meteo on 25th March, 2023 during the Community Work commonly known as Umuganda that was held in Bwisige Sector, Rutoma Cell in Gicumbi District.
Currently, IUCN Rwanda is implementing restoration projects in Rwanda such as Alliance for Restoration of Forest Landscapes and Ecosystems in Africa (AREECA) project in Kirehe and Nyagatare districts.
Through the AREECA programme, currently a total of over 1000 ha of lands was planted with agroforestry trees, over 23.821km of roadside were planted with different tree species. Around 3000 fruits trees were distributed and planted by small scale farmers.
IUCN is also implementing the Transforming Eastern Province through Adaptation (TREPA) project (Green Climate Fund funded project), DeSIRA, Embedding Integrated Water Resources Management (EWMR) project, Tech 4 Nature, sustainable agriculture to list few.
During the celebration of the three Days, IUCN joined the Ministry of Environment, Ministry in charge of Emergency Management and Ministry of Infrastructure, UN agencies, NGOs, LCOs, Youth and Women and communities in Community Work (Umuganda) that planted over 8150 trees on 3.5 ha in Gicumbi District, Bwisige Sector.
Speaking to the community of Bwisige, the Minister of Environment Dr. Mujawamariya Jeanne d’Arc, reminded the Northern Province citizens to participate more in various environmental conservation programs, including planting forests, planting agroforestry species, avoiding the premature harvesting of forests and promote the use of energy saving cooking stoves among others.
“There is a danger that awaits us, erosion. If we are not careful, this district of Gicumbi alone risks losing 47% of its arable land. Everything is connected to nature, from our forests and water to our climate. The solution lies in development that is resilient to the environment and climate, hence the interdependence of these three elements, water, forest and climate,” said the Minister of the Environment, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya
The Governor of the Northern Province, Nyirarugero Dancille appreciated the joint efforts by Government of Rwanda in partnership with partners in reversing degraded lands in Rwanda.
She called on the Gicumbi people to participate in planting new trees, fighting erosion by digging rain water channels to avoid land flooding and fixing the roofs of their houses and other activities aimed at fighting and preventing disasters.
During the Community Work (Umuganda), IUCN Rwanda Country Representative, Kaori Yasuda conversed with other development partners on the role of IUCN in restoring degraded landscapes in Rwanda with example of how TREPA project (Green Climate Fund funded project) is set to transform the Eastern Province of Rwanda through community led restoration approach.
TREPA intends to restore 60,000 ha of drought-degraded landscapes into climate resilient ecosystems through reforestation, agroforestry, restoration of pasturelands and soil erosion control measures in the seven districts of the Eastern Province.
The project also intends to increase the resilience of 75,000 small holder farmers.
During Community Work (Umuganda), Mr Schauer Mark, Head of Component, Knowledge Management at GIZ Rwanda Country Office under AREECA project participated in tree planting but also interacted with other high officials from Rwanda and partners.