Rwandas determined efforts, supported and spearheaded by none other then President Paul Kagame, has just won the country global recognition when the countrys national forest policy was chosen over all other 20 nominated contenders as the best in the world by the World Future Council, according to an announcement made yesterday at the UN headquarters in New York.
The forest policy, previously discussed here, was updated in 2010 and has a declared goal to restore 30 percent of Rwandas land to forest cover by 2020, amongst other areas of intervention linking the Gishwati and Nyungwe forests and expand the ecosystem to Lake Kivu. Recognized as a crucial water tower and benefactor of the countrys micro climate, forests play a crucial role in maintaining bio diversity and at the same time earn mega money through carbon trading agreements and tourism, something other countries in the region are yet to fully appreciate, as the sagas of the Mau Forest in Kenya, the Eastern Arc Mountains in Tanzania and the Mabira Forest in Uganda go to show.
Nyungwe Forest National Park has made an almost instant impact on the tourism itineraries for visitors to Rwanda and the establishment of a canopy walk in that park has acted as a magnet to attract tourists for walks and hikes, to see primates 13 species are found within the park orchids, butterflies and rare medicinal plants and trees amongst other attractions like waterfalls.
Prof. Wangari Maathai, Kenyas Nobel Peace Prize Winner and remembered for her determined campaign to save the Karura Forest in Nairobi inspite of brutal police reactions caused by the government then in power, has hailed the award for Rwanda and heaped praise on the countrys policy and leadership in conservation. Sources within Rwanda too expressed their joy and pride over this huge recognition as one regular source from Kigali put it, for what we are doing and have already achieved.
Notably has President Paul Kagame also highlighted individual responsibility by other world leaders over achieving sustainable development when addressing the United Nations General Assembly earlier in the week.