Tourism plays a major role in Rwanda’s conservation

Published on : Monday, May 15, 2017

Tourism in RwandaSustainable tourism is the theme for the UNWTO for 2017. The concept is not unknown in Rwanda. The country’s preservation journey began more than a decade ago and has progressed a great deal.

 
Rwanda is known for addressing major challenges in conservation. It has recently become one of the three East African countries offering tourists a ‘Big 5’ experience, having reintroduced both lions and eastern black rhinoceros into Akagera National Park.

 
Such bold measures have undoubtedly placed Rwanda globally as a role model in conservation in Africa. However, despite its conservation successes, Rwanda’s leadership acknowledges the continuous need to improve its best practice standards.

 
According to Dr. Tara Stoinski, President and CEO of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which has been working in Rwanda for fifty years, “Rwanda’s mountain gorillas are the best studied gorillas in the world. And the decades of data accumulated on them continue to provide crucial insights into their conservation needs. With the growth in the gorilla population, we are seeing much higher rates of interactions between gorilla groups, which our data clearly show can be very stressful as well as increase rates of injury and/or death. Given that mountain gorillas remain among the most critically endangered animals on the planet, it is essential that we try to minimize pressures on the population and continue to pursue all measures to ensure their long-term future.”

 

Protecting Nyungwe National Park, one of Africa’s largest protected mountain rain forests acclaimed for its biodiversity and endemic species richness, as well as Gishwati-Mukura National Park is among the important projects in the pipeline. In 2016, Rwanda created its fourth national park – Gishwati-Mukura National Park. This park is made up of two fragmented mountain forests, and is home for chimpanzees and golden monkeys that need to be protected. The park requires Government of Rwanda investment for restoring it to the standards of other national parks.

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