Thursday, 6 June 2013

Gisagara scoops top environmental protection award


Leandre Karekezi (L), the mayor of Gisagara, receives an award his district won for protecting the environment from State Minister for Social Affairs, Dr Alvera Mukabaramba, yesterday.
Gisagara has emerged the best district in implementing mechanisms to protect environment in the country. This was announced during celebrations to mark the World Environmental Day in Kicukiro District, Kigali, yesterday. 
The district was awarded by the National Environment Management Authority (Rema).
The annual event was this year marked under the theme, “Think, Eat, Save” to raise awareness and discourage the population from wasting food as its also dangerous to the environment. 
The focus is on the Save Food Initiative, a broad partnership, including Unepi, Fao, and in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge, which was launched last year at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. 
“Protecting the environment is creating a bright future. It is necessary to consider issues and policies that will enable us to protect our environment,” said Stanislas Kamanzi, the minister for natural resources.  
Kamanzi called on the public to adopt the year’s theme of Think, Eat, Save, saying, in addition to contributing to environment protection, it will save many lives. 
Food loss is said to occur mostly at the production and post-harvest stages while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food supply chain. 
Gisagara District also received several prizes, including a plaque, two motorcycles, septic water tank and two computers for its outstanding performance. 
Mayor LĂ©andre Karekezi attributed his district’s good performance to combined efforts by both the local population and authorities in implementing the environment policy. 
Karekezi said the punitive measures against those who engage in activities that affect the environment also have enabled his district to perform well. 
Rubavu and Nyamasheke districts were second and third best performers, respectively.  
Rema also recognised best environment reporters as well as cooperatives working to promote and protect the environment. They received printers, cameras and certificates.  
Rema chief Rose Mukankomeje said recognising best performers would encourage others to take part in environment protection. 
“We want to work together and environment is a cross cutting issue; meaning that each and every one must be involved,” Mukankomeje said. 
The event also marked the end of the National Environment Week that started on May 26. 
During the week, several activities were conducted to raise awareness of environmental sustainability to encourage the population to take part in protecting the environment. 
At the international level, Mongolia hosted the World Environment Day, 2013, the country said to be one of the world’s fastest growing economies on a green path and the most vulnerable nation to global warming.  
The World Environment Day, established by the UN in 1972, seeks to stimulate awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action on sustainability issues.


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