RUANDA: Lafrec project ends after restoration of 603 hectares of forest


The climate resilience of the almost 2,000 people who live in and around Gishwati Mukura National Park has been strengthened. In this protected area in northwestern Rwanda near Lake Kivu, the benefits of the Landscape Approach to Forest Restoration and Conservation (LAFREC) project are considerable. In six years of implementation, the project has restored 603 hectares of forest and 32 hectares of illegal mining sites. Trees have been planted on 900 hectares of land and 446 hectares of arable land are now under forest pastoralism, which benefits both farmers and the environment.

As a result of these achievements of the Lafrec project, Gishwati Mukura National Park has improved its protected status. October 28thNS, In 2020 the park was declared a biosphere reserve. This was during the 32ndnd Meeting of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program, organized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Support from development partners

The Lafrec project was launched in 2015 with the aim of restoring Gishwati-Mukura using a landscape approach to better manage forest ecosystems. The initiative was implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (Rema). “The Lafrec project not only changed the landscape by protecting and restoring biodiversity, it changed the lives of thousands of Rwandans and demonstrated that investing in nature has significant benefits for both people and the planet. “ says Juliet Kabera, Rema’s managing director.

Also read-RUANDA: Parc National de Gishwati-Mukura classé réserve de biosphère par l’UNESCO

The project was supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) through the World Bank. In 2017, the NDF joined the project with funding of $ 850,000. It was involved in the component to improve afforestation management through the quality of tree seeds and provide technical support for more efficient charcoal production and biomass processing in Rwanda.

Boris Ngounou

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