Conservation of Biodiversity and Natural Resources and Climate Protection by Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry at Cyamudongo Forest (Rwanda)
As of: September 2020
Objective and activities
Cyamudongo, national park since 2004, is an isolated forest relict in SW Ruanda. Unsustainable land use and extreme soil erosion threaten the forest and its great biodiversity. The project supports the local population in the marginal zones of the park to transfer to sustainable agroforestry and forest restoration. Measures contribute to food security and energy supply and reduce pressure on the forest, protecting the geo-ecological functions and biodiversity of the forest. Farmers, trained by the project, will plant 1.5 mil. saplings around the margins. These agroforestry systems and micro-forest holdings stop wood extraction from Cyamudongo and sequester carbon. An adjacent forest relict will be connected via afforestation. The project strengthens the public awareness on the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It anchors nature and resource conservation in political processes, makes recommendations and educates rangers, staff of nature conservation agencies and students.
State of implementation/results
- In January 2019 the second of three planned workshops for representatives of the two main partners, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) took place. Discussed was the cooperation with local authorities, seed production of indigenous trees and the long-term sustainability of the project.
- In August 2019, the second of three excursions organised by the project for students of the IPRC-Kitabi and the University of Rwanda took place. After a guided tour through the Cyamudongo forest, the group visited a tree nursery by the project and learned about the establishment of agroforestry systems.
- Every year during the summer months, students in the project region are taught to be multipliers of the project idea on the topics "Importance of Forests", "Agriculture and Erosion" and "Agroforestry". Teaching was extended from three to six partner schools.
- On 21 March 2019 (International Forest Day), the project organised a painting competition at three project schools in cooperation with the RPV. The 30 winners of the competition were invited to participate in a guided excursion to the Cyamudongo forest in June 2019.
- Since the start of the project, 111 information sessions have been held in the villages of the project region to inform around 6,600 participants about planned activities and opportunities for participation.
- The two one-day training courses on "Agroforestry", "Local tree species" and "Planting techniques" have so far been offered around 190 times each and around 8,600 participants were trained.
- By the end of the third planting season in spring 2019, around 650,000 tree seedlings had been planted and around 3,250 hectares of agricultural land had been converted into agroforestry systems. In autumn 2018, the planting season was opened by the State Secretary of the Ministry for Lands and Forestry (MINILAF). Other guests of honor were the Director of the Tree Planting Unit of the RWFA and the District Mayor of Rusizi.
- In June 2019, a campaign to combat the invasive species Solanum chrysotrichum in the Cyamudongo forest was started together with the RDB.
- In July 2019, a new work package "Strengthening the capacities of the National Seed Centre and the Arboretum" was launched; in September 2019, the monitoring of biodiversity in the Arboretum started.
- In November 2019, a field trip for Bachelor students of the University of Rwanda to the arboretum took place. The project gave an introduction to the ecology of native trees and herbaceous plants of Rwanda, especially orchids.