Navigation Links
Rwanda's Gishwati Forest selected as site for historic conservation project
Date:1/14/2008

Des Moines, Iowa, USA January 15, 2008 The Rwandan government, Great Ape Trust of Iowa and Earthpark have announced that the Gishwati Forest Reserve is the future site of the Rwanda National Conservation Park, setting into motion one of Africas most ambitious forest restoration and ecological research efforts ever. The selection of Gishwati as the location for Rwandas first national conservation park comes less than three months after the project was unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative by Rwanda President H.E. Paul Kagame and Ted Townsend, founder of Great Ape Trust and Earthpark.

The Gishwati Forest, in Rwandas Western Province, was deforested in the 1980s by agricultural development and in the 1990s during the resettlement of people following the civil war and genocide. Human encroachment, deforestation, grazing and the introduction of small-scale farming resulted in extensive soil erosion, flooding, landslides and reduced water quality as well as the isolation of a small population of chimpanzees.

A team from Great Ape Trust and Earthpark toured the Gishwati region this month, hosted by representatives from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and Rwanda National Forestry Authority (NAFA).

This was the first step in what will be a very long but powerful journey. What weve learned about Gishwati has given us an even bigger vision of what can be accomplished in Rwanda, Townsend said. Its a signature moment to participate in this conservation effort that is new and beyond anything attempted before.

In addition to tours of Gishwati, Townsend and Dr. Benjamin Beck, director of conservation at Great Ape Trust, met with President Kagame and Patricia Hajabakiga, Minister of Lands, Environment, Forestry, Water and Mines (MINITERE).

The significance of this project is twofold the restoration of forests and biodiversity in Gishwati and the improved livelihood of those people living in the region, Minister Hajabakiga said. This is important to Gishwati, important to Rwanda and important to the world. To see the hills of Gishwati covered with forest again will be beautiful.

Following meetings with MINITERE, REMA, NAFA, the Rwandan office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN), the National University of Rwanda, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Great Ape Trust, four goals were established for the Gishwati project:

  • Create Rwanda National Conservation Park, defined as conservation of biodiversity in an extensively degraded landscape, populated with low-income small-scale agriculturalists.
  • Restore ecosystem services in the form of improved water quality, reduced soil erosion and flooding, fewer landslides and increased sequestration of carbon.
  • Restore natural biodiversity with special emphasis on chimpanzees as a keystone and flagship species.
  • Generate income through ecotourism, investment opportunity and local employment.

Poverty is a threat to conservation, so we must simultaneously protect and study the Gishwati chimpanzees, expand their forest habitat, and foster the economic development of the local human population, Beck said. Great Ape Trust will be the first international conservation organization to focus on Gishwati. This is a formidable but exciting challenge. We and our Rwandan partners are developing some innovative and ambitious solutions that will make this a model. President Kagames inspiring recognition of the importance of biodiversity is a driving force for our efforts. .

Once the second-largest indigenous forest in Rwanda, Gishwati extended 1,0002 km (100,000 hectares or 250,000 acres) in the early 1900s. By the late 1980s, Gishwati was about one-fourth its original size. Resettlement by refugees following the 1994 genocide reduced the forest to about 62 km (600 hectares or 1,500 acres). Reforestation efforts during the past several years have increased Gishwatis forest to approximately 102 km (1,000 hectares or 2,500 acres).


'/>"/>

Contact: Al Setka
asetka@greatapetrust.org
515-243-3580
Great Ape Trust of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. No convincing evidence for decline in tropical forests
2. Will intensive forest practices impact water quality?
3. Carbon sink capacity in northern forests reduced by global warming
4. Forest Service launches Web-based forest threats viewing tool
5. New carbon calculator conserves forests
6. Beetle dung helps forests recover from fire
7. European Union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate: study
8. Woods Hole Research Center debuts new image mosaic that will strengthen global forest monitoring
9. Univ. of Arizona receives $2.5 million to study Amazon forests and climate change
10. Single-largest biodiversity survey says primary rainforest is irreplaceable
11. Wildfire drives carbon levels in northern forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/17/2016)... 17, 2016 Global Market Watch: Primarily ... Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is to witness a ... Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of ... during the analysis period 2014-2020. North America ... followed by Europe at 9.56% respectively. ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), ... the gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of ... its common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 ... to the public of $1.00 per share and ... the offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... , Nov. 14, 2016  Based on ... market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes FST Biometrics ... Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership. FST Biometrics ... biometric identification market by pioneering In Motion ... for instant, seamless, and non-invasive verification. This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... cells — optogenetics — is key to exciting advances in the study and ... patterned light projected via free-space optics stimulates small, transparent organisms and excites neurons ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... KBioBox llc announced ... client demand KbioBox developed a sophisticated “3 click” gene dditing off target analysis ... KBioBox’s new website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ and powered by the company’s proprietary ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix ... developing and commercializing products to treat rare diseases where ... it will be hosting an Investor Webcast Event Friday, ... origins of innate defense regulators (IDRs) as a new ... mucositis and the recently announced and published Phase 2 ...
(Date:12/8/2016)...   Biocept, Inc . (NASDAQ: ... actionable liquid biopsy tests to improve the management ... its Target Selector™ Circulating Tumor Cell platform demonstrated ... of actionable biomarkers in patients with metastatic breast ... Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), the research arm of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: