Rwanda has signed a new environmental conservatio
n contract with African Parks to ensure the sustainable management of Nyungwe National Park, the country’s largest national park expanse of forest.
The 20- year management deal signed Wednesday October 7th will preserve the park’s considerable biodiversity to secure lasting benefits for people and Rwanda’s wildlife.
This announcement follows a successful 10-year partnership between the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and African Parks, which has steered an ecological and economic revival of Akagera National Park.
Clare Akamanzi, RDB Chief Executive Officer said the new agreement with African Parks is a testament to the good partnership built with African Parks over ten years.
“We look forward to making Nyungwe National Park an even more spectacular place to visit by advancing wildlife management and conservation, expanding tourism infrastructure, and increasing tourism marketing and promotion. We also look forward to a collaborative working relationship with communities around the park,” Akamanzi said in a press statement.
Nyungwe contains exceptional levels of faunal and floral diversity and is home to a quarter of Africa’s primates – 13 species including chimpanzees and the extremely rare Hamlyn’s and L’Hoest’s monkeys.
Nyungwe is also home to more than 1,000 plants, over 90 mammals and 300 bird species recorded, of which many are endemic and found only within Nyungwe.
Nyungwe is also a critical catchment area feeding both the Congo Basin to the west and the Nile Basin to the east, providing 70% of Rwanda’s water.
It also has a tourism destination in Rwanda playing a key role in generating revenue and employment as Rwanda seeks to reposition itself as a luxury ecotourism destination.
Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks said that by investing in the long-term protection of Nyungwe National Park, one of Africa’s biodiversity hotspots, Rwanda will demonstrate global leadership in taking action to preserve ecosystems which sustain human health, local livelihoods and economies.
Fearnhead stated that “Coming on the heels of Climate Week and the UN Biodiversity Summit with countries pledging to put climate and biodiversity at the heart of post-Covid recovery plans, Rwanda’s choices will achieve meaningful results in protecting natural resources not just for a country, but for a continent and for the planet”.
The Rwanda Development Board and African Parks will collaborate to secure the sustainability of the park by improving law enforcement, investing in and stimulating local enterprise, and by optimizing Nyungwe’s exceptional potential for conservation-based tourism.
Nyungwe represents the second partnership between RDB and African Parks, following a management agreement for Akagera National Park that began 2010.
Nyungwe is the 19th park to join the African Parks portfolio across Africa.