Rwanda was once heavily forested. Indeed, despite years of forest loss, the mountains of Rwanda are still home to the some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, high population pressure, years of civil conflict and economic instability resulted in massive deforestation across Rwanda’s small but biologically rich expanse.

Today, no primary forests are left in Rwanda, though trees have returned: 20 percent of Rwanda’s land area is now forested, according to Monga Bay, and more than 7 percent is under civil protection.

Building on this momentous re-growth, the government has now pledged to undertake border-to-border restoration of Rwanda’s remaining deforested and degraded lands. Rwanda has pledged two million hectares of land – nearly three quarters of its land area - to the Bonn Challenge goal to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s degraded lands by 2020.

What lands offer the best opportunities for restoration? How shall it be accomplished? Who will benefit? And who will pay for it?

These are some of the questions IUCN and the government of Rwanda sought to answer in a nation-wide restoration assessment, undertaken over the last few years using a new methodology developed by IUCN and the World Resources Institute.

Click at right to:

  • Download a copy of the final assessment report (coming soon).
  • Learn more about restoration in Rwanda (coming soon).