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Forests for People in Rwanda: A Success Story

New book illustrates the East African country’s prized forest policy

Hamburg, 14 November: The successes of Rwanda's forest policy are explored in a new book “Forests for People – Insights into Rwanda’s Prized Forest Policy” published by the World Future Council, a foundation based in Hamburg, Germany. Rwanda's National Forest Policy was awarded the 2011 Future Policy Award. The policy has not only resulted in a halting of deforestation, the country's forested area has increased by a remarkable 37 per cent since 1990. The primary reasons for this success are massive reforestation projects and plantations undertaken in partnership with the local population. The World Future Council's Future Policy Award aims to draw global attention to exemplary policies such as this and to encourage other countries to introduce comparable measures. 
 
The book illustrates the Rwandan forest policy in an easily digestable and enjoyable way, promising “a story of world records, brave people, rare animals and good solutions for the challenges of our time.” It not only looks into the forest policy itself but also finds much to recommend in the Rwandan tradition of “Umuganda”, which translates roughly as ”collective effort”, and in the creation of effective institutions. As 95 per cent of all households in Rwanda use wood or charcoal for cooking, the question of wood fuels and alternative energy sources is discussed. Further chapters cover biodiversity, agroforestry, gender issues and even Rwanda’s ban on plastic bags. The short texts are illustrated with striking photos from the South Africa-based photographer Nathalie Bertrams. The book can be
downloaded for free or bought as a hard copy.

“For the 2011 Future Policy Award we conducted an intensive evaluation process, at the end of which Rwanda’s forest policy was awarded the top prize. While championing the country’s successful forest policy, nearly everything we could find to read on Rwanda covered the 1994 genocide,” says Ina Neuberger, author of Forests for People. “With this book we want to contribute to closing this gap. Not everything in Rwanda is working, and of course we do not support all the country's political measures, but we have certainly found outstanding, creative and exemplary policy solutions tackling the challenges of our time.”


World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.


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