IUCN Framework Partners visited IUCN Member (RWCA) in Rwanda
The Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) who has been Member of IUCN in Rwanda since 2021, received a team from IUCN Framework Partners who are in Rwanda for IUCN Framework Partners’ Annual Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
Currently, RWCA has successfully restored 60 hectares of land, which includes 25 hectares of wetland and 35 hectares of forest. The organization has provided employment opportunities for over 500 casual workers and 14 guards at the sites. Furthermore, they have planted 75,000 trees from over 40 different species.
During their visit, IUCN Framework partners toured restored wetland enriched to biodiversity, indigenous trees, and Rwanda’s grey crowned cranes. The Framework appreciated work of IUCN and RWCA in restoring ecosystems in Rwanda.
Rwanda’s Minister of Environment Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya officiated IUCN Framework partners dinner organized by IUCN.
Speaking at IUCN Framework Partners’ Annual Meeting in Kigali on 18th April 2023, Minister Mujawamariya highlighted Rwanda’s Role in global environmental processes and acknowledged IUCN’s contributions in conservation initiatives in Rwanda and everywhere in the World.
She said “Our engagement with IUCN has been instrumental to many achievements in different areas such as restoration of ecosystems for people and biodiversity, integrated water resources management for development, Climate change adaptation and mitigation and Sustainable Finance for people and nature.”
Delivering her remarks, Minister Mujawamariya reminded that “Climate change and biodiversity issues are intertwined and addressing them is possible if governments, private sector, development partners and the community at large, work together.”
She explained that Rwanda opted for a green growth approach to development by integrating environment and climate change, and nature conservation into its development agenda.
Using examples of what Rwanda has done so far, Minister Mujawamariya noted that Rwanda ratified and domesticated various Multilateral Environmental Agreements including, among others the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, The Convention on Biological diversity (and its Nagoya and Cartagena protocols) and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
The Annual meeting which brought together various IUCN partners was also graced by various high level officials including Dr. Bruno Oberle, Director General of IUCN; Luther Anukur, IUCN Regional Director, East and Southern Africa; Nana Oumou Toure, IUCN Regional Director, West and Central Africa; Kaori Yasuda, IUCN Rwanda Country Representative, Government officials and development partners among others.
RWCA is spearheading a conservation initiative aimed at protecting the Grey Crowned Crane and other endangered wildlife in Rwanda. Through this initiative, the organization is working towards the restoration and protection of their natural habitats, which are essential for their survival.
Grey Crowned Cranes are a symbol of wealth and longevity in Rwandan culture, and face increasing threats due to habitat reduction and illegal trade. Rwanda is a small country with an incredible variety of bio-diversity, yet it is challenged by high population density and extreme poverty. This results in resources and land being overstretched and high competition between people and wildlife.
Additionally, Grey Crowned Cranes have been kept in captivity by hotels and by wealthy families who are unaware of the environmental consequences of doing so. These captive cranes are usually stressed, malnourished, have their wings broken to prevent them flying, don’t breed and die prematurely.
In addition, there has been a general lack of awareness in Rwanda about the endangered status of cranes and the law protecting them.
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