REMA boss receives United Nations forest protection award
The United Nations has awarded the Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority, Dr Rose Mukankomeje, for her contribution towards protecting forests.
She was among the awarded personalities in the world who have devoted their lives to preserving the environment, especially forests through initiating policies that have also lifted the well being of their citizens. The awards were presented as 197 member states met at the 10th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, yesterday, in Istanbul, Turkey.
The award has three categories: Forest Heroes, the International Forest Short Film Festival and the International Forest Photograph Awards. Each award focuses on the dynamic and unique relationship between forests and the people who depend on them.
The awards that were given according to the regions, saw Dr Mukankomeje winning Forest Hero’s award for African region. Other regions were Asia and Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean, Europe and North America 600 entries had been received from 68 countries.
“Rose Mukankomeje has devoted her life to the protection and restoration of Rwandan forests. As her nation emerged from crisis, and in the face of great personal adversity, Rose took the initiative to bring Rwandans together to protect their natural resources from over exploitation and environmental degradation,” a statement from the UN reads.
When contacted, Dr Mukankomeje told The New Times that; “This award is for our government especially the Ministry of Environment that has put in place good policies for our environment. It also goes to the Rwandan people who are the implementers and beneficiaries of these good initiatives.”
Success through initiatives
She added that the country managed to succeed through such home grown initiatives, as Umuganda [community work] which she said have ensured that the growth of forests in Rwanda benefits the rural poor. Other initiatives she observed campaigns to protect the environment.
A Bill which is currently in Parliament streamlines the new national forestry policy in an updated regulatory framework giving conscious attention to sustainable use of forests: protecting and sustaining the environment, and production for economic development.
In 2011, Rwanda won the Future Policy Award as the world’s most inspiring and innovative forest policy. The announcement was made by the World Future Council (WFC) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Last year, the country also received an international award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for its outstanding contribution to the Protection of the Ozone Layer which protects earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Contact email: eric.kabeera[at]newtimes.co.rw