Kinyenkanda is positioned at the beginning of the planned 30-mile (50 kilometer) forest corridor to Nyungwe National Park. Reforestation of the area will represent the initial 4 percent of corridor development. The core of Kinyenkanda will be planted with native trees while a 100 meter buffer zone will be planted with fast-growing non-native trees that can be harvested by local residents for fuel wood and charcoal making. The goal is to establish a local forest protection committee to manage this small buffer forest.
The reforestation will be managed by a contractor, and GACP will negotiate that all laborers be hired locally, preferably from among those families that were resettled. GACP will expand its forest monitoring force from four ecoguards to six, with the two additional ecoguards monitoring Kinyenkanda. It's hoped qualified candidates for these lucrative positions will come from the resettled families as well.
"The reforestation of Kinyenkanda is a perfect example of win-win-win sustainable conservation. There are local and national economic benefits, the chimpanzees and other fauna will enjoy expanded habitat, and the environmental quality of the river and the atmosphere will be enhanced," said Beck.
The Gishwati Area Conservation Program began in late 2007 when H.E. President Paul Kagame and Great Ape Trust and Earthpark Founder Ted Townsend pledged at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting to found a "national conservation park" in Rwanda to benefit climate, biodiversity and the welfare of the Rwandan people. Great Ape Trust is a scientific research center in Des Moines, Iowa and Earthpark is a proposed national center for science-based ecological literacy and immersive learning for students, educators and visitors.
The Gishwati Forest Reserve's history of deforestation extends over 50 years, in part because
|Contact: Al Setka|
Great Ape Trust of Iowa