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Conservation of Biodiversity and Natural Resources and Climate Protection by Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry at Cyamudongo Forest (Rwanda)

As of: January 2022

Cyamudongo is an area of montane rainforest in southwestern Rwanda. Although a key biodiversity area and protected as part of the Nyungwe National Park, the forest is threatened by unsustainable land use and advanced soil erosion. In light of this, the project is helping the local population living on the periphery of the national park to transition to sustainable agroforestry and forest restoration. These measures help to ensure security of supply for their food and power needs while avoiding land use pressure on the forest. Farmers who have received project training are planting 1.5 million saplings in the forest periphery. The resulting agroforestry systems and woodlands avoid the need for further logging in Cyamudongo itself, while also helping to integrate the forest with the adjacent main part of the national park. The project is also helping to anchor the importance of conservation as a policy goal while offering recommendations for action, and helping to train rangers, conservation agency staff and students.

State of implementation/results

  • Since the beginning of the project, 119 information events have been held in the villages of the project region to inform about 7,400 participants about planned activities and opportunities for participation.
  • The two one-day training courses on agroforestry, native tree species and planting techniques have been offered around 270 times so far. Due to COVID-19 requirements, the project has been working even more closely with multipliers since the fall 2020 planting season, offering the trainings individually per household in this way. Around 13,000 farmers have been trained to date.
  • With the completion of the eighth planting season in spring 2021, about 1,450,000 tree seedlings have been planted to date and about 6,100 hectares of agricultural land have been converted into agroforestry systems.
  • The work package "Strengthening the capacity of the National Seed Center and the Arboretum" was completed in June 2021. The results of the Arboretum biodiversity survey are presented online ( Two employees of the Seed Center completed an internship semester at the University of Koblenz-Landau in summer 2021. Both are already supported with a scholarship for their master studies since January 2020. In total, we look back on five workshops, one excursion, one lecture and the training of eight interns.
  • In cooperation with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and African Parks, 16 one- to four-day training courses on phytodiversity, zoodiversity and biodiversity monitoring have been held so far, attended by a total of about 150 national park staff.
  • An online training course introducing the flora and fauna of the Cyamudongo Forest and biodiversity monitoring methods was held in October 2020. Trainers from the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany were involved, as well as rangers from RDB, students from the Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC), and staff from the Rwanda Tree Seed Center (RTSC) of two sites in Rwanda. For training, the focus is primarily on digital and online-based formats.
  • In August 2019, the second of three field trips organized by the project took place for students from IPRC-Kitabi and the University of Rwanda. After a guided tour of the Cyamudongo Forest, the group visited a project nursery and learned details about the establishment of agroforestry systems.
  • In June 2019, a campaign to control the invasive species Solanum chrysotrichum in the Cyamudongo Forest was launched jointly with the RDB and successfully completed at the end of the year.
  • On March 21, 2019, the International Forest Day, the project in cooperation with RDB held a painting competition at three project schools. The creators of the 30 most meaningful pictures were invited to a guided field trip to Cyamudongo Forest in June/September 2019.
  • In January 2019, the second of three planned workshops for representatives of the two main partners, RDB and Rwanda Forestry Authority (RFA) took place. Cooperation with local authorities, seed production of native trees, and long-term sustainability of the project were discussed.
  • Before the Covid 19 pandemic, schoolchildren in the project region were taught annually during the summer months as additional multipliers of the project idea on the topics "Importance of Forests", "Agriculture and Erosion" and "Agroforestry". The lessons were extended from three to six partner schools.
  • In the fall of 2018, the planting season was opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Lands and Forestry (MINILAF). Other guests of honor included the director of the Tree Planting Unit of the RFA and the district mayor of Rusizi.

Project data


Implementing organisation:
Universität Koblenz-Landau

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Environment - Rwanda
  • Rwanda Development Board (RDB)
  • Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority

Implementing partner(s):
  • Verein zur Förderung nachhaltiger Entwicklung in Ruanda e.V.

BMU grant:
2.297.722,50 €

09/2016  till  12/2022


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