Rwanda expects to reach its goal of 30% forest cover in three years, according to the Minister for Forestry and Mines, Christophe Bazivamo. If achieved this would be seven years ahead of the government’s pledge for 2020.
After Rwanda’s forest cover hit a nadir of 10%, the government began an aggressive tree-planting campaign. According to Bazivamo, the program has succeeded in raising the percentage to around 20% by planting some 116 million trees with a 60% survival rate.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Forestry and Mines, Antoine Ruvebana, recently called on Rwandans to create a tree-planting culture, telling families and institutions to help bring back the nation’s forests.
The government is currently planning to plant 44 million more trees by the end of 2011.
(06/09/2009) Satellite images released by NASA show nearly complete destruction of Rwanda’s Gishwati Forest between 1986 and 2001. Deforestation of the forest reserve is largely the result of subsistence harvesting and cultivation by refugees in the aftermath of the country’s 1994 genocide. Overall only 600 hectares of Gishwati’s original 100,000 hectares of forest remain, a loss of 99.4 percent.
(09/15/2008) Rwanda and Burundi have agreed to protect a large tract of tropical mountain forest that is home to chimpanzees, rare owl-faced monkeys, and other wildlife.
(03/17/2008) conservationists in Rwanda have launched an ambitious reforestation project that aims to create a forest corridor to link an isolated group of chimpanzees to larger areas of habitat in Nyungwe National Park. The initiative, called the Rwandan National conservation Park, is backed by the Rwandan government, the Great Ape Trust of Iowa, and Earthpark, a group seeking to build an indoor rainforest in the U.S. Midwest.