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Rwanda - Overview

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The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity or the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Biodiversity Facts

Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services

Examples of the main negative changes that have occurred or are occurring in regard to biodiversity in Rwanda include: the conversion of Karama savannah natural forest, covering an estimated area of 1,000 ha, into farmland, land for grazing and for other economic activities; the massive logging of the Nyungwe buffer zone forest for charcoal and timber production (11,000 ha of the plantations are being exploited by the New Forest Company for poles); degradation of the Mukura forest reserve due to mining exploitation; invasion of water hyacinth in lakes, including the lakes of Bugesera, Gisaka, Nasho, and other water bodies, especially in the Nyabarongo-Akagera river system and the Akagera wetland complex; the decrease or extirpation of native fish species in the lakes of the Nyabarongo-Akagera river system due to the invasion and increase of predator species, among which are Protopterus aethiopicus and Clarias gariepinus, with the most threatened species being Barbus kerstenii, Clarias liocephalus, Mastacembelus frenatus and Oreochromis macrochir; drying of water bodies (small lakes) at the summit of the mountains of the volcanoes in Volcanoes National Park; the altitudinal upward migration of species distribution due to the effects of climate change; and the underutilization and disappearance of landraces and local breeds due to a policy on crop intensification favoring high-yield varieties and races... More »

Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)

Over the years, biodiversity has been subjected to various threats causing loss to species richness, population size and ecosystem degradation. The main threats include: poaching, boundary encroachment, fires, alien invasive species, predation, deforestation, illegal mining, illegal grazing, human-wildlife conflict, damming, drops in water levels, poisoning of fish and lion, commercial fishing, lack of proper regulations, infrastructure development, water extraction, plant extraction, drainage of wetlands outside parks, plant and animal diseases transmissible from livestock to wildlife, lack of connectivity, climate change, etc... More »

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

Rwanda developed its first NBSAP in 2003 after identifying the major threats to biodiversity conservation. The document targeted the following five major outcomes: i) improved conservation of protected areas and wetlands; ii) sustainable use of the biodiversity of natural ecosystems and agro-systems; iii) rational use of biotechnology; iv) development and strengthening of policy, institutional, legal and human resource frameworks; and v) the equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of biological resources... More »

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

It is reported in Rwanda’s fifth national report dated March 2014 that Aichi Biodiversity Targets 11 and 17 have been fully achieved; advanced progress has been achieved in regard to Targets 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 19, while low achievement is registered in regard to Targets 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16 and 18.

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

Rwanda adopted a Biodiversity Policy in 2011 and a Biodiversity Law in 2013. In addition, a number of new key policies, laws and strategies have been adopted, including the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) II (2013-2018), National Climate Change and Low Carbon Development Strategy (2011), Rwanda Wildlife Policy (2013), Rwanda Protected Areas Concessions Management Policy (2013), National Forestry Policy (2010), National Policy for Water Resources Management (2011), National Energy Policy and National Energy Strategy (2008-2012), National Industrial Policy (2011), Forestry Law (2013), Protected Areas Law (2013), New Land Law (2013), Law establishing the Rwanda National Climate and Environment Fund (FONERWA) (2012), Law establishing Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (2011), Decrees for the protection of biodiversity, Payment of Ecosystems Services (PES) regulatory framework preparation, etc... More »

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

A comprehensive system for monitoring and reviewing implementation does not exist at present in Rwanda. This issue is however addressed by Rwanda’s National Target 18 which states that: “By 2020, knowledge in biodiversity status, values, causes and consequences of biodiversity loss, is enhanced, shared across the country and reflected in the implementation of the NBSAP”, which has been mapped to achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 19... More »

National Contacts

Full details of national contacts »

Convention on Biological Diversity

Ms. Marie Laetitia Busokeye
CBD Primary NFP
Mrs. Thérèse Musabe
SBSTTA NFP
Mr. Djuma Nsanzimana
CHM NFP
Mr. François Bizimungu
Protected Areas NFP

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Mr. Emmanuel Kabera
Cartagena Protocol Primary NFP, BCH NFP

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