Rwanda is famous for its natural environment, mild climate, and beautiful terrain with a variety of plants and animals. It is nicknamed “Land of a Thousand Hills” as a gentle mountain landscape that evokes admiration. Rwanda is also known as one of the safest countries in the world. Kigali was recognized by the United Nations for its cleanliness, peace and safety, and was the first African city to receive the Habitat Scroll of Honor. Future Eco heard about Rwanda's attractiveness and environmental issues from the Ambassador of Rwanda.
What other attractions do you think Rwanda has among many African countries?
Conservation is at the center of the Rwanda’s tourism sector. The Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda is a unique experience for travelers. It is the home of the magnificent Mountain Gorillas. Visitors will trek and be able to see the Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat.
The scenery is breathtaking and the park has no fewer than five volcanoes. Conservation, community development and economic growth have enabled a safe environment for Gorilla families to grow and more visitors have been able to visit over the years, The community surrounding the park is a crucial actor in the conservation effort. The same conservation momentum is kept through the hospitality industry that offers luxury Eco lodges around the attraction.
Another unique attraction is our forest with two parks. The Nyungwe National Park is one of the oldest rain forests in Africa. From its Canopy walkway, built at 70m from the ground, you will have an unforgettable view of its spectacular beauty. The second park is the Gishwati-Mukura National Park that gets its name from the two forests it hosts: Gishwati, the larger one and Mukura. Visitors can walk several different trails where they encounter other fantastic types of mammals. In this breathtaking scenery you will discover amongst others chimpanzees, l’Hoest’s and blue monkeys as well as birds.
The country size enables you to experience amazing choices of scenery and activities in a convenient amount of time. From the Akagera National park that offers tourists the opportunity to discover the BIG 5 animals on a safari drive in the savannah to forests, volcanoes and lakes. Travelers to Rwanda will enjoy this stunning destination in total safety as Rwanda ranks as the 9th safest country in the world by the World Economic Forum. During this COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda has continued to welcome tourists and has implemented all recommended preventive measures.
|Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain rang.|
I know that Rwanda has a cool climate all year round. The summer you feel in Korea, seems to be much harder. Due to climate change in Korea, the temperature of each season is changing dramatically. The frequency of floods and droughts is also increasing. What is the climate change you feel in Rwanda?
Rwanda is situated in the heart of Africa and on the Equator. Therefore, the weather has always been quite mild with season alternating between rainy and dry season.
However, we are experiencing heavy rain falls and flooding. In addition, the unusual temperature pattern has impacted our agriculture.
We have responded by investing in water resources management for example restoring wetlands. Also the new Water Resource Management Board was created to ensure better streamline of all related activities.
The Rwanda Green Fund plays a key role to support private sector projects that focus on adaptation and increase the thousands green jobs already created.
Our ambitious goal of reducing our Green Houses emissions of 38% by 2030, has led the economy and policy players to develop solutions to the current impact of climate change.
I understand that the influence of COVID-19 is less severe in Africa than in other countries, what is the situation in Rwanda?
Since February 14th this year, the Government of Rwanda has kicked off the national vaccination programme for COVID-19, starting with health care staff as part of the high-risk groups. Rwanda’s national vaccination program is expected to be done in phases. In the first phase, the vaccine will go to frontline workers in healthcare and treatment centers. Other groups considered are correctional facility inmates, people in refugees and security personnel.
The first confirmed case was detected in March 2020 and our first spike of infections was registered in the country towards the end of 2020.
Since last month we have witnessed a constant decrease of infections. As of today, the test positivity rate stands at 1.6%. Tests conducted are between 4,000 to 10,000 daily.
Since COVID-19, the world has been in a new phase for green growth and sustainable development. In this respect, what is the Rwandan government focusing on?
The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aim at reducing 38% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. To achieve these targets over the next 10 years, the combined funding requirement was estimated at USD11Billion, including $5.7 to be spent on climate mitigation measures while over $5.3 billion will be invested in climate adaptation priorities before the pandemic.
The pandemic is a key challenge. However, we are working with long term partners such as Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) as well as Green Climate Fund (GCF) on different projects on our path to our NDCs. We believe that these are the kind of collaborative efforts that will enable us to take advantage of this next phase.
|Akagera National Park lies in eastern Rwanda, hugging the border with Tanzania.|
Rwanda has abundant biodiversity and national parks to protect them. Such a scene that captivates the hearts of tourists is a pleasure to people, but special protection is needed for the animals and ecosystem there. I would like to hear about the Rwandan government's policy on this.
As guardians of many iconic species, Rwanda is committed to safeguarding their existence within the four National Parks.
We are constantly working to ensure we can live in sustainable harmony with our environment, with a clean and green mindset. We banned plastic bags in 2008, and our lands are possibly the cleanest in the continent.
Ten percent of the income derived from the Mountain Gorilla, safari and other tourist permits, as well as park fees, are redistributed to local communities to change lives for the better.
|One of the oldest rainforests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in boidiversity and spectacularly beautiful|
For Koreans, Africa is still an unknown territory. In particular, the music and culture of Africa are always new and interesting. If there is any culture or tradition in Rwanda that is not well known to Koreans, please introduce it.
Warm and friendly, Rwandans are also respectful, thoughtful and committed to the idea of progress, starting at the grass roots and running all the way to the top.
From the ancient kingdom to the modern days, creativity is something to be celebrated, whether through traditional dance, unique architecture or works of art.
The people of Rwanda embrace peace and reconciliation. They are committed to fight the ideology of genocide. The memorials found throughout the country are moving testimonies in memory of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the people who lost their lives.
Today Kigali is cosmopolitan enough to host not one, but two fashion festivals every year. For fashionistas and those on the cutting edge of style, they offer a fantastic opportunity to discover urban Rwandan styles. Kigali Fashion Week takes place every July, and hosts dozens of international, local, and upcoming young designers.
While the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Week showcases even more local and international talents every September.
Rwandan culture has many traditions including Intore dancing, basketry and Umuganda that are a delight to foreigners. “Kigali Up” annual festival brings together music from across the world to Kigali. For movie lovers, the Rwanda Film Festival that showcases films from Rwanda, Africa and across the world is a must see.
The festival travels the entire country to bring the best of cinema to the communities.
Lastly, if you have any expecta tions through partnership with Korea, please let us know.
The Korea New Deal that was launched by the Government has put at the center the Digital and Green components.
KOICA but also the presence of Korea Telecom (KT) in Rwanda have been strong pillars of our cooperation with Korea in the digital space. The green initiatives have been more present in the projects in the recent years. We believe that even the presence of GGGI, GCF and event such as P4G will offer opportunities to exchange and collaborate in the Green areas.
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