April 13, 2024


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Minister Mujawamariya Urges Investment in Wetland Conservation for Sustainable Development

Rwanda's Minister of Environment Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujwamariya during Umuganda

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, is encouraging investors to seize the opportunities available in wetland conservation and ecosystem protection. Speaking after the launch of a project aimed at restoring five wetlands in the city of Kigali, the Minister emphasized the potential for generating income and promoting environmental sustainability in these areas.

Minister Mujawamariya highlighted that various profitable activities can be carried out in wetland zones without causing harm to the environment or ecosystem.

She said that “By engaging in conservation efforts, individuals can enjoy financial gains while also contributing to the preservation of the environment.”

Drawing attention to the successful transformation of the Nyandungu Wetland into an Urban Eco-Park, Minister Mujawamariya affirmed that the next five wetlands will be similarly enhanced. Addressing the residents of Kigali City, she underscored the immense opportunities that wetlands offer.

The targeted five wetlands are:  Gikondo, Rwampara, Rugenge-Rwintare, Kibumba and Nyabugogo all located in the city of Kigali.

The Minister assured the community that rehabilitating the mentioned wetlands will create long-term job opportunities. She urged those engaged in agricultural activities within these wetlands to relocate and allow contractors to collaborate with local communities in revamping the areas. This approach will not only yield financial benefits but also fulfill the crucial role of protecting the ecosystem and improving citizens’ well-being.

The restoration of the five Wetlands has received support from the World Bank and the Government of Rwanda

Minister Mujawamariya emphasized that wetlands constitute only 10.6% of Rwanda’s land area, which is insufficient given their importance. She called on individuals to invest in wetland conservation, emphasizing that the government alone cannot shoulder this responsibility without the involvement of each and evryone.

Dr. Juliet Kabera, Director of the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA), emphasized that restoring wetlands is an ongoing initiative to preserve Rwanda’s natural resources.  She explained REMA is working with the World Bank with government support for this endeavor.

The restoration works are set to commence in February, providing job opportunities during and after the restoration period. Dr. Kabera emphasized that this project will contribute to creating a livable city that promotes human well-being and comfort.

Frame Rwanda’s conservation efforts in the global image

Rwanda’s efforts in environment conservation are gaining global recognition as the country aims to contribute to various environmental agreements and combat climate change.

Speaking to TOP AFRICA NEWS, the Deputy Director General of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, Mr. Munyazikwiye Faustin highlighted the importance of rehabilitating wetlands in the city of Kigali, stating that it will significantly reduce emissions by planting numerous trees.

He said that “This initiative will help offset carbon emissions and align with the Convention on Biodiversity.”

Furthermore, he added that “the restoration of wetlands will lead to increased ecosystem regeneration, allowing various species that are primarily located in wetlands to multiply.”

“This will further contribute to the Convention on Biodiversity, showcasing Rwanda’s commitment to preserving biodiversity. The country’s efforts in wetlands restoration also align with the Ramsar Convention, which focuses on the wise use of wetlands.” He added.

Mr. Munyazikwiye emphasized that wetlands can serve as not only a habitat for diverse biodiversity but also a recreational hub for people to enjoy. Therefore, the restoration projects in Rwanda serve as a pilot initiative to demonstrate that wetlands can be wisely utilized for both environmental conservation and human enjoyment.

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