Kigali, 4th October 2022 - The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Enabel and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conducted the National Agroforestry Research Conference themed “Trees on farms - a sustainable solution for landscape restoration, biodiversity and livelihoods”.
The conference brought together research and academic institutions and different stakeholders supporting Rwanda's landscapes production capacity restoration and climate change mitigation through agroforestry.
Various exchanges in this one-day conference covered several themes regarding the ecosystem services of agroforestry systems; biomass and energy supply potential in agroforestry systems; the socio-economic of agroforestry adoption; and agroforestry system monitoring tools and approaches.
For a concrete and sustainable Impact of agroforestry to the National ecosystem, various studies are being conducted by academic and research institutions including the University of Rwanda, the university of Gent, KU Leuven and the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) under DeSIRA program (Development Smart Innovations through Research in Agriculture and food security) funded by the European Union.
According to Mrs Gatesi Juliene, a researcher from the University of Rwanda, Landscape restoration primarily depend on trees, which harmoniously improve livelihood and biodiversity. “Ground Data have shown that where trees have been planted, the greenness has attracted the whole ecosystem including insects and birds and the soil became more fertile.”
DeSIRA program, the 5-year agroforestry research project (2020-2024), is being jointly implemented by Enabel and IUCN. It aims at effectively understanding and demonstrating the ecological, social and economic pathways to, and resultant benefits from the scale up of agroforestry-based restoration and sustainable biomass use, particularly focusing on the Rwandan Eastern province - which presents relatively higher opportunities of agroforestry landscapes restoration with approximately 500,000 ha1, and the peri-urban City of Kigali -with an estimated area of approximately 40,000 ha for horticultural value chains development opportunities.