Rwanda’s Gishwati-Mukura Landscape Becomes UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has classified Rwanda’s Gishwati Mukura Landscape as one of the few areas in the world full of life in its natural composition.

The landscape was declared as UNESCO biosphere reserve during the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (UNESCO MAB) International Co-coordinating Council meeting on October 27th-28th, 2020 at the organisations head offices in Geneva.

A biosphere reserve is made up of the parts of earth where life exists—all ecosystems, and extends from the deepest root systems of trees, to the dark environments of ocean trenches, to lush rain forests, high mountaintops, and transition zones like this one, where ocean and terrestrial ecosystems meet.

The UNESCO MAB Programme develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the rational and sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment.

“We are proud to welcome Gishwati Mukura Landscape Biosphere Reserve #Rwanda to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves,” the organization said in a Twitter message.

This means that Gishwati Mukura Landscape in Rwanda is now one of the 701 Biosphere Reserves globally where humans have played a role in co-existence with their eco-system around them.

“Congratulations to all partners involved in this historic achievement including Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Bank. This will bring a range of benefits for local communities and biodiversity in Gishwati Mukura,” said Juliet Kabera, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).

On Friday, May 22, 2020, Rwanda joined the international community in celebrating the National Day for the Protection of the Biodiversity Network celebrated with the theme: “Our solutions are in Nature”.

Rwanda used the opportunity to encourage planting trees, especially fruits because they give off fresh air and provide with seeds, avoiding waste everywhere and dumping contaminated waste wherever it occurs as it ends up in floodwaters during rainy seasons.

UNESCO also boosts of 252 natural World Heritage sites, 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks of which Rwanda is currently pushing to have three of its genocide memorial sites included in the former package.




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