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Aligned with the project “Capacity building in the areas of livelihood and agroforestry in the Amayaga Region’’, Action pour la Protection de l’Environnement et la Promotion des Filieres Agricoles (APEFA) held a meeting on with local leaders on residents’ private forests management on March 10, 2022 in Nyanza District.

The training brought together local authorities including the Sector Forest Officers, Cells Social Economic Development Officers (SEDOs) and Village leaders from sectors where APEFA implements the above-mentioned project that is aligned the Forest Landscape Restoration in the Amayaga Region ‘Green Amayaga’ implemented by Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).

Speaking to the participants, Jackson NDERA, APEFA’s Forest Officer in Nyanza and Gisagara Districts doubling as Project Coordinator, quoting Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2015, said that 68% of planted forests were owned by locals but were poorly managed with the production of 17m3/ha while it could produce 60-80m3/ha.

This, he said, was due to little knowledge and skills in forest management, overexploitation among other causes and it resulted in climate change.

In order to get the best out of forests, owners were given as advice to adopt forest land consolidation and join cooperatives as this would help them get information on right prices and learn together best practices to see them get the best out of their forests.

They were told that in case farmers were united in cooperatives, they would benefit more as participants pledged to go and sensitize the farmers the good of forest land consolidation in their respective areas.

They requested also for a study tour which would see farmers learn on field from elsewhere this worked and benefitted forest owners.

APEFA promised to help selected owners conduct the study tour in coming days.