By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
As Rwanda marks World Nature Conservation Day, a day dedicated to recognizing the importance of conserving our natural resources and promoting sustainable practices, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Rwanda joins the people of Rwanda in celebrating the goods that nature provides to people and national development.
The theme for 2023 World Nature Conservation Day is “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.
It is well-known that forests play a vital role in supporting livelihoods, providing essential resources such as timber, non-timber forest products, and ecosystem services. They also serve as habitats for countless species, contributing to biodiversity conservation.
In a message dedicated to this day, Ms. Kaori Yasuda, the IUCN Rwanda country representative, reminded that IUCN Rwanda will continue to work with the Government of Rwanda and other partners on matters related to the environment and Nature conservation.
She said that “Today is the World Nature Conservation Day. IUCN Rwanda works with the Government of Rwanda and other partners to conserve the diversity of Rwanda’s nature that provides essential services to Rwandan people.”
From this perspective, Ms. Kaori reminded that Rwanda puts nature and biodiversity conservation at the centre of sustainable development for a nature-based economy.
IUCN Rwanda in collaboration with Government of Rwanda, local communities, and stakeholders, have been actively working towards sustainable forest management, integrated water resources management and restoration, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation and landscape restoration programmes among others in the country.
IUCN Rwanda is working with the Government of Rwanda and other partners to address the persistent drought that has affected the Eastern Province.
World Nature Conservation Day serves as an opportunity to highlight the achievements and ongoing efforts in Rwanda’s conservation journey.
It is a day to celebrate the progress made in preserving the nation’s natural resources and to inspire further action towards a sustainable and resilient future.
This year, IUCN Rwanda encourages everyone to take part in the celebrations by acknowledging the importance of nature’s bounty and committing to protect and conserve it.
Whether it’s planting trees, supporting local conservation projects, or promoting sustainable practices in our daily lives, every individual can make a difference in safeguarding our planet’s natural heritage.
“Please join us in appreciating the beautiful and rich biodiversity and nature of Rwanda and celebrating the roles of nature for people of Rwanda.” Kaori added.
IUCN opened an office in Rwanda in 2016 in order to support the Government of Rwanda in achieving its overall conservation and development objectives. Since then, it has implemented various projects that have contributed to Rwanda’s national policies as well as to international commitments such as those under the Convention on Biological Diversity, Bonn Challenge, AFR100 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In Rwanda, the IUCN Rwanda Country Office has specific expertise in forest landscape restoration (FLR), integrated water resources management, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, natural resources governance, geo-spatial ecosystems mapping & modelling, natural resources economics and ecosystems valuation, sustainable agriculture within a densely populated landscape, and sustainable conservation finance instruments.