Welcome to environment Digest, where academia meets action! Today, we have the privilege of delving into the insightful perspective of Dr. Jean Nduwamungu as he explores the fascinating world of enhancing Rwandan smart cities with nature-based solutions.
In a time where sustainability and innovation are at the forefront of our global consciousness, Dr. Nduwamungu sheds light on how harnessing the power of nature can revolutionize the way we design and develop our urban landscapes.
Dr. Nduwamungu, a professor at the University of Rwanda and a Researcher with IUCN Rwanda, recently spoke at the Africa Smart Cities Investment Summit (ASCIS2023) in Kigali.
During IUCN Rwanda session, titled “From Promises to Impact: Putting Climate Policies and Plans into Practice in African Cities,” from the academia angle, Dr. Nduwamungu discussed the importance of nature-based solutions in enhancing Rwandan smart cities.
He emphasized the significance of urban forestry as a key component of smart cities. He explained that urban forestry can contribute to the beautification of cities, reduce the impact of stormwater, and even increase biodiversity by creating corridors for wildlife within urban areas.
To support these ideas, IUCN Rwanda has collaborated with various researchers including Dr. Nduwamungu to develop guidelines for urban countryside tree planting.
IUCN guidelines outline the species suitable for planting in cities to enhance beautification and provide various benefits in the forestry context.
“The focus is on indigenous tree species which are well adapted and can contribute to a lot of benefits in the forestry context.” He explained.
“So, I am a strong advocate for the concept of investing in urban forestry. This includes planting more trees in various locations, including gardens. We should prioritize planting trees that are suitable for gardens, such as fruit trees or those that enhance soil fertility and leaf foliage. By following these guidelines, we can increase the range of forest products derived from tree planting and effectively manage our rivers.” He added…
Dr. Nduwamungu stated that Rwandan cities should use IUCN Rwanda guidelines to rehabilitate all urban wetlands and increase green space in Rwandan cities.
“This should be done not only in Kigali, we should also do it in our secondary cities, so these guidelines will apply for all the urban areas in Rwanda, and I hope they will contribute to increasing the green space in Rwanda” He concluded.