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Rwanda focuses on forestry efficiency to cut green emissions

Rwanda has announced plans to increase efficiency in the country’s forestry sector in order to cut down greenhouse gas emissions to minimum proportions by 2017.

Forests cover 29.2 percent of Rwanda’s surface with government targeting a 30 percent forest cover by next year.

The move will help the East African nation meet its climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, and enable the country maintain rapid economic growth that is resource efficient, low-carbon and climate resilient.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Vincent Biruta, Rwanda minister of natural resources said that the country is looking for more investments in the forestry sector to contribute to reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

"Rwanda has committed to nationwide landscape restoration, and every year, Rwandans plant millions of trees to protect our environment. We have long demonstrated our commitment to protect our threatened forest resources," he explained.

Biruta noted that the country is open to work with the private sector to manage forests, improve their quality and ensure efficient use and value addition.

"Every year we spend a huge amount on importing wood products, even though we have ’Made in Rwanda’ forest resources here to utilise."

About 714,102 hectares are expected to be entire forests reserves before the year 2020, from 694,402 hectares, according to the ministry of natural resources.

The small central African nation is currently reviewing the best ways to address the direct and indirect drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

The country has also been accredited for direct access to funding from the international Green Climate Fund. Rwanda has announced plans to achieve sustainable green economy by 2018.

In 2008, the small central African nation passed a law that banned the importation and use of polythene bags, while possession or smuggling them into the country attracted heavy penalties.


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