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Rwanda: Deforestation alerts signaled in Eastern Rwanda

25 Jun 2012

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The Director General of Rwanda Natural Resources Authority has stated that the trend of land degradation, especially through deforestation in Eastern Province now poses danger to the country's economy and needs to be addressed immediately.

Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza made the remarks while addressing local leaders and forest managers in the region, this June, 2012; where he also said that poor land maintenance in most districts is a poor example to the country's bid for environmental protection and called for need immediate intervention from all stakeholders.

Dr. Nkurunziza pointed out that poor maintenance of forests and land in the country is particularly evident in the Eastern Province especially in areas of Rwimiyaga in Nyagatare district, Nyacyonga in Bugesera district, and Gatsibo District- where residents have been involved in cutting trees and other degradation activities.

It is reported that several hectares of trees planted by the Police in Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts were destroyed by cattle and that rivers like Nyacyonga were drying up because many trees in the area have already been cut down.

The Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi told provincial leaders that this is a matter of great concern and must be stopped and such careless behavior addressed immediately.

Planting trees is a major priority for environmental protection for Rwanda, and the government has step up the process of afforestation to ensure that the forest cover takes up at least 30 percent of the country's total surface area.