This year’s Mother Earth Day is celebrated under the theme "Restore Our Earth".
The event was held in Huye District where the Ambassador of Israel in Rwanda, Dr. Ron Adam, visited the Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management.
The Center is in the National Herbarium of Rwanda in University of Rwanda (UR), and accommodates 17,000 species of plants.
The Ambassador was joined by the Director-General of Rwanda Environment and Management Authority (REMA), Juliet Kabera, officials from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and University of Rwanda, and graduates from the university.
On the occasion, they launched a workshop to increase the capacity of young Rwandans to collect and identify plants hence contribute to the development of the National Herbarium of Rwanda and the country’s documentation of its rich botanical heritage.
In total, 30 individuals including MSc students, recent BSc graduates were trained.
The workshop was financed by the Israel Embassy in Rwanda.
According to Ambassador Adam, preserving biodiversity should be prioritized.
He said: "One of the key areas of concern is the preservation of biodiversity and of the biological ecosystem on Earth. Humanity needs to preserve biodiversity which became more challenging in the current age of climate change and global warming."
"The embassy attaches great importance to the preservation of parks and nature in Rwanda," He added.
Israel has dealt with the conservation of its nature since its inception by declaring more than one-third of its land under preservation. There are more than 150 national parks in Israel.
Meanwhile, Rwanda is also committed to preserving the environment, as explained by Kabera.
"The Green Growth and Climate Resilience strategy of 2011 as well as its updates NDCs of 2020 are examples of strategic documents that highlight priority interventions which Rwanda embarked on to mitigate and adapt to climate change," she noted.
She added: "These interventions include but not limited to promoting the use of renewable energy, rainwater storage and efficient use, landscape restoration, and promoting e-mobility."
Visiting Nyungwe National Park
In a bid to promote research and help graduates to better understand biodiversity, over 20 people composed of UR graduates and their lecturers were facilitated to visit the Nyungwe National Park on Wednesday, April 21.
They collected 30 plant species, which they assert will help them conduct further significant researches.
"I have learned a lot with my students, we discovered a lot of species and collected samples that were not at the National Herbarium of Rwanda. This will help us to monitor the evolution of plant species in relation to climate change,” said Prof. Elias Bizuru, a lecturer of Botany and related courses at UR College of Science and Technology.
Aime Sandrine Uwase, Coordinator of National Herbarium of Rwanda and a graduate in Botany and Conservation at UR, also hailed the visit.
"I enjoyed the trail, I got to learn new things. I was able to see with my eyes plant species we were taught in class. We thank the Israel Embassy in Rwanda for this opportunity given to us."