Press releases

Kigali Declaration for Forests for People

African Parliamentarians, Policy Makers and Experts agree action at First Inter-Parliamentary Hearing

Kigali, 9 July 2012 – At a Hearing in Kigali this weekend, 25 parliamentarians and experts representing ten African countries underlined the urgent need to act at the national and local level to address the social, economic and environmental values of forests and trees. The first Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on ”Forests for People” was convened by the World Future Council foundation, an international policy research organization that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. It casts a spotlight on successful and exemplary African policies and programmes which benefit current and future generations. Parliamentarians, policymakers and experts from Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia committed to take back to their countries the ideas, policies and successful experiences discussed and to work to get support for implementation.

“We are honoured to be the host country of this important meeting”, says Stanislas Kamanzi, the Rwanda Minister of Natural Resources. “In Rwanda, we have made significant strides in the protection of the environment but realize that much work remains to be done. We therefore embrace the opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss solutions with representatives and experts from other countries across Africa and beyond”.

In a concluding session lead by Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, Director General of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, and Jan McAlpine, Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests, the delegates passed the “Kigali Declaration”. They commit to achieve sustainable forest management, to facilitate action on afforestation, reforestation, and degraded lands, to implement agroforestry and to develop programmes for participatory forest management in order to halt and reverse deforestation.

“There is an urgent need to halt and reverse deforestation and forest degradation in Africa.  A positive and successful forest policy exists in Rwanda that benefits current and future generations. By convening at the Inter-Parliamentary Hearing 'Forests for People's we aim to highlight success stories and to scale up the introduction of good laws and policies”, says Alexandra Wandel, Director World Future Council.

Participants also aim to promote sustainable woodfuels, energy efficient cook stoves and alternatives including environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. Furthermore, delegates decided to integrate into their laws the importance of clear land tenure, including for communities and notably, women. Delegates have agreed to support moves towards the prohibition of environmentally harmful polyethylene bags, following the Rwandan example.

They agreed to meet on an annual basis to share success stories and to report on national progress made in implementing the Kigali Declaration.

For the Kigali hearing, the World Future Council partnered with Rwanda Ministry of Natural Resources, Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the United Nations Forum on Forests, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and GLOBE International. International organizations including FAO, ICRAF, NEPAD and Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society were represented by experts.

 

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