Rwanda to plant millions of trees for 2017/18 Forest Planting Season

Rwanda’s National Forest Planting Day and Season brings together millions of Rwandans to plant millions of trees in an effort to protect the environment and harness forest resources for economic development and improving the livelihoods of Rwandans.

The launch of the 2017/18 season will take place in Nyagatare District, Nyagatare Sector, Rutaraka Cell, Rutaraka Village, on 28 October 2017. During the event, there will be a community discussion about the benefits of tree planting and a nursery with the different types of trees that will be planted.

The theme of this year’s season is “Forests – A Pillar of Sustainable Development”. Across the country, seedlings will be planted on more than 50,000 hectares as part of the 2017/18 Forest Planting Season.

During the season, a total of 3,253.95 hectares of forests will be planted, a total of 45,729.95 hectares of agroforestry will be planted and an area of 768 hectares of degraded forests will be rehabilitated. To support the sustainable management of state forests, 5,350 hectares will be transferred to private investors through concession and co-management agreements.

The Government of Rwanda will use this Forest Planting Season as a chance to encourage citizens to invest in forestry, use less charcoal and adopt alternative sources of energy such as gas and solar. To help reduce the use of biomass as a source of energy; 19,317 improved cook stoves are being distributed in Gatsibo District, thanks to support from the Rwanda Green Fund.

Rwanda’s forests cover 696,402 hectares (29.6%) of the country’s total land area. Over 258,000 hectares are natural forests and savannah. The forestry sector contributes significantly to Rwanda’s economy.

This year's Forest Planting Season is being supported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) and Water for Growth Rwanda - a joint Rwanda-Netherlands platform supporting integrated water resources management in the country.