Rwanda to Build Ecotourism Park in Kigali

Francesco La Camera of the Italian Ministry of Environment Land
and Sea commissioning Rwanda’s first ecotourism Park in Kigali, the
country’s capital. Courtesy: Emmanuel Hitimana

By Emmanuel Hitimana
KIGALI, Dec 2 2018 (IPS)

Rwanda’s capital city Kigali will be home to a 134 hectare
urban park in the city’s biggest valley in 2020. The Nyandungu
Urban Wetland Eco-Tourism Park will conserve wetlands and habitat
for wildlife while providing walking and cycling trails, fish ponds
and botanical gardens for residents and tourists.

The new park illustrates Rwanda’s vision that preserving
natural ecosystems is a win-win situation said Faustin
Munyazikwiye, Deputy Director at Rwanda’s Environment Management
Authority. Speaking on the sidelines of African Green Growth Forum 2018,  he
said the government wants to restore the area’s flora and birds
for the benefit of researchers, residents and tourists.

The four-million-dollar project has the support of  Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) an
inter-governmental organization focused on green economic growth,
and the Government of Italy. The latter has contributed 1.3 million
dollars while the rest is being raised through Rwanda’s Green Fund that
manages the country’s environmental projects.

Italy was eager to partner with Rwanda on the ground-breaking
project said Francesco La Camera of the Italian Ministry of
Environment Land & Sea.

“We want to facilitate all the goals the Rwandan government
has for sustainable green growth,” said La Camera during the
Forum.

Rwanda has ambitious goals to be a 100 percent carbon emission
free country in the coming decades.

GGGI has been working with Rwanda to help ensure that its
major  consulting the projects comply with green growth standards
said Okechuku Daniel Ogbonnaya, GGGI’s Acting Country
Representative.

Green growth involves the creation green jobs, the reduction of
green house gas emissions, increased access to clean affordable
energy, sustainable public transport, improved sanitation, and
sustainable waste management. It also means improved air quality,
adequate supply of ecosystem services and enhanced adaptation to
climate change.

“We have been helping the Rwandan and Italian Governments
build the concept and fund the Nyandungu project,” Ogbonnaya
said. “The idea is to find projects that show that green growth
has a positive impact.”

Rwanda is known for taking risks and has already introduced
drastic new measures in bid to fight against environment
deterioration. These include a decade-old law banning plastic bags;
the new Bugesera airport, the first green airport in Africa;
Enviroserve Rwanda, an e-waste recycling plant; among others. GGGI
has been a part of much of this in terms advice and planning.

“I think for Rwanda and other countries, there should be a
goal of 100 percent renewable energy or even going to net or zero
emission,” said Frank Rijsberman, GGGI Director General.
“Countries should move towards 100 percent electric
transportation which soon be the cheapest form of transport.”

Yet the missing element is that environmental aspects are not
mainstreamed into the planning approaches by governments, according
to Donovan Storey, Deputy Director and Urban Lead at GGGI.

However, other GGGI experts feel this is not the case with
partner countries Rwanda, Ethiopia, Senegal and Mozambique,
something Rwanda’s Minister of Environment Dr. Vincent Biruta
strongly agrees with.

“By incorporating green growth into your business model, you
can be more efficient in your operations, increase productivity and
have a positive impact on the environment. Put simply, green growth
is good for business.” Minister Biruta said.

However, Rwanda still needs about $400 to 600 million dollars to
implement its Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy. That
will include the implementation of green cities and green
agriculture which will result in creating green jobs among
others.

The week-long African Green Growth Forum which was held for the
first time will convene again in 2020. It is hoped that this Forum
will go a long way in addressing not only climate change but set
the continent on unprecedented path to sustainable growth.

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Rwanda to Build Ecotourism Park in Kigali
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Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Rwanda to Build Ecotourism Park in Kigali