|Mukura Forest – an almost lost treasure|
Battle against many oddities by an IEES-related organisation.
The Mukura Forest is located within the Albertine Rift Region in Rwanda's Western Province, within the Congo-Nile crest. It used to be part of a continuous mountain forest from Nyungwe to the Volcanos Park. Today, this ancient forest range with areas of endemic species in Africa and the world is split in four important protected areas in Rwanda from south to north : the Nyungwe, Mukura and Gishwati forests and the Volcano Park.
Mukura Forest's mean annual temperature is 15 °C, the average altitude: 2600 m.a.s.l and the mean annual rainfall is 1500 mm (erratic). As the relief is very accidented and the tree cover very low, there is a high risk of sol erosion and thereby land degradation.
Mukura Forest has reserve status since 1951: it then covered 3000 ha. Until today about 50% of the forest's surface are lost due to deforestation, paralleled with high loss of biodiversity (highly disturbed). Currently, 1600 ha are left. This amounts to an alarming situation which arose for several reasons. The population pressure is high: up to 600 inhabitants per km2 ; this aggravates deforestation and consequently erosion. The level of poverty is high: the monthly income of households is 3 US$ and there is a high vulnerability of children (20% are not going to school). Finally, the current climate variations are increasing the stress on the natural resources which are already overused by the local communities
In this difficult situation the local organisation ARECO-RWANDA NZIZA (Association Rwandaise des Ecologistes), whose national coordiantor is Ms Dancilla Mukakamari, is engaged in several projects aimed at saving the precious rudiments of Mukura Forest to:
Main lessons learnt so far :
Validation workshop of Mukura Management Plan (2007-2011)
with the following main priorities:
Supporting women and youth groups for sustainable conservation is ARECO's priority;
Donors assistance is highly recommended for sustainable achievements
Comment by Brigitta Züst
IEEC works on many environmental problems all over the world. But are we able to help preservimg an ancient forest with endemic species? If such forest are lost, it is lost forever. Get in contact with Dancilla, with ARECO-RWANDA, show interest, go and visit, it is thouroughly worthwhile.
Text based on informations from
ARECO-RWANDA NZIZA and
Dancilla Mukakamari, National Coordinator, Kigali Rwanda.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 August 2012 )|