Sunday, 26 May 2013

Kamanzi calls for protection of endangered species

Kamanzi calls for protection of endangered species
Local residents planting trees during Umuganda.
More efforts are needed to preserve endangered animal and plant species in the country, the Minister for Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, has said.
He was on Thursday briefing the media on this year’s World Environment Day and National Environment Week campaign that started over the weekend even though the environment day is celebrated globally on June 5.
The news briefing that was held at the ministry headquarters in Kigali, was also attended by officials from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).
“People living near parks like Akagera National Park In the past, used to hear lions roaring, especially in the mornings, and see cranes in many places which is rare today,” Kamanzi said.
According to the minister, increased human activities, including farming and poaching, are largely to blame for the extinction of some of the species.
“There was a time when gorillas were on the verge of extinction, but combined efforts to increase their numbers succeeded and now the country reaps benefits. Lions, elephants and other animals should be preserved for tourist purposes,” the minister said.
REMA’s Director General, Rose Mukankomeje, cited Iboza riparia, known as Umuravumba in Kinyarwanda, among the plants that have been conserved for its medicinal use.
Under the global theme, Think, Eat, Save, Rwanda this weekend joins the world to mark the World Environment Day by dedicating a whole week to activities aimed at raising awareness on environment and climate change issues.
Sensitisation on water management, renewable and efficient energy, planting fruits and trees, adaptation to effects of climate change, waste management, food processing, packaging and storage, are, according to REMA, among the activities that are targeted during the campaign.
Mukankomeje said the climax of the activities will see awarding of the best 2012-2013 environmental performers.
At the international level, the day will be marked in Mongolia, Asia, considered as one of the world’s fastest growing economies in a green path and most vulnerable nation to global warming.


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