Conservation of Biodiversity and Natural Resources and Climate Protection by Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry at Cyamudongo Forest (Rwanda)
As of: June 2019
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
- The third planting season of the project in autumn 2018 was opened by the State Secretary of the Ministry for Lands and Forestry (MINILAF). Other guests of honor were the Director of the Restoration Unit of the Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) and the District Mayor of Rusizi. The ceremony was attended by farmers who were trained by the project and received tree seedlings for planting on their fields.
- In December 2018, the project organised an excursion for representatives of local authorities from the project area to the 30-year agroforestry system, the national Seed Centre and the Arboretum in Butare (Huye), where the aims of the project were illustrated.
- 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. Cooperation with local authorities, seed production of indigenous trees and the long-term sustainability of the project were discussed.
- Also in January 2019 the first 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 Cyamudongo Forest, the group visited a project tree nursery and learned details about the establishment of agroforestry systems.
- Since the start of the project, 64 information events have been held in villages of the project region to inform around 3,500 participants about planned activities and opportunities for participation.
- Outside the planting season, interested farmers are trained. The two one-day training courses on "Agroforestry", "Local tree species" and "Planting techniques" have so far been offered around 200 times each and around 6,700 participants have been trained.
- By the end of the third planting season in autumn 2018, around 450,000 tree seedlings have been planted and around 2,200 hectares of agricultural land have been converted into agroforestry systems. In addition, work has begun on an agroforestry corridor between Cyamudongo and Nyungwe Forest.
- The first planting day of the fourth planting season took place on 27 February 2019. Up to eight planting teams work daily with farmers to plant another 180,000 seedlings by mid-April 2019 to convert agricultural land into agroforestry systems.
- On 21 March 2019 (International Forest Day), the project organised a painting competition at three Cyamudongo project schools in cooperation with the RDB. The painters of the 30 most impressive pictures will be invited to a guided excursion into the Cyamudongo forest. Students of the environmental club at the Nkungu elementary school performed a specially rehearsed play.