Rwanda is battling a decisive war of choosing between its increasing population and draining natural resources. The country has endured massive deforestation, depletion of bio-diversity, erosion, landslides, pollution of waterways and degradation of fragile ecosystems such as swamps and wetlands.
To tame the situation, the government has put in place policies for environmental conservation aimed at propelling the country’s green growth for the next five years. While speaking at the Climate Change panel at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, President Paul Kagame said, “As we look forward to development, we are not making a choice between environment and prosperity, but rather how do we combine both because one supports the other.”
For example, 30,739,957 trees were planted in 2014 as part of agro-forestry and restoring ecosystems. Rwanda, by 2018, aims to have 30% of its surface area covered by forests, up from 28.8% in 2014.
Every year, Rwanda will plant trees on 8,150 hectares to achieve that target. This year the country launched the Fund for the Environment and Climate Change, a groundbreaking, biggest of its kind initiative in Africa.