Rwanda’s Environment Ministry is banking on the country’s forestry sector to create sustainable employment opportunities for people across the country.
The Ministry has amped up its efforts just as the East African nation marked an annual event known as ‘Umuganda’ which can be translated as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’.
This year’s Umuganda Day coincided with the beginning of the country’s national tree planting season, which marked the end of October.
“The Government of Rwanda will use this forest planting season as a chance to encourage citizens to invest in forestry,” the country’s Ministry said in a statement.
The move was backed by Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Vincent Biruta, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).
The forestry sector, however, has suffered from a number of constraints in the recent past. The industry is prone to excessive and indiscriminate logging due to Rwanda’s relatively high population.
The country also suffers from an uneven distribution of forest resources as most of the Classified Forests are located along the Congo-Nile Ridge, leaving the rest of the country with a wood deficit.
Rwanda also suffers from low productivity of existing man-made forests and poor quality of forest genetic material due to inbreeding.
“This season is chance to encourage citizens to invest in forestry, use less charcoal and adopt alternative sources of energy such as gas and solar,” Rwanda’s Forestry Ministry officials explained statement.
This year 45,729.95 hectares of agroforestry plants and 3,253.95 hectares of classic forest will be planted across the country as part of the government’s aptly-named ‘Green Rwanda’ initiative.
The theme of this year’s planting season is ‘Forests – A Pillar of Sustainable Development.’
The Ministry stated that forests play a vital role in development by providing a sustainable source of income and jobs to Rwanda’s citizens.