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APEFA staff led by its Executive Director, Oscar Nzabonimpa, with staff from Livelihoods Funds have visited beneficiaries of some projects related to restoration and preservation of ecosystems APEFA has implemented in different districts of Rwanda as the two institutions plan to partner on a REDD+ project.

REDD+ is a framework created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) to guide activities in the forest sector that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.

The Livelihoods staff comprised Maribel Narvaez Gallardo, Head of Project Development Livelihoods 3rd Carbon Fund and Rosa-Maria Vidal who is the Social Impact Lead and Senior Project​ Coordinator at Livelihoods Funds.

The visit started at Gakenke District’s headquarters where the visitors met Gakenke District Mayor Jean Marie Vianney Nizeyimana who welcomed them in the District and talked about the partnerships between APEFA and the District.

APEFA and Livelihoods Fund staff with Gakenke District Mayor Jean Marie Vianney Nizeyimana

The team later had a site visit in Gakenke to showcase one of the successful improved cooking stove project, where the beneficiaries experienced a reduction of 60% in wood fuel consumption.

Women are mostly affected by climate change
The stove is known to use 60% of fuelwood compared to traditional ones

Nationwide, so far, Action for Environment Protection and Promotion of Agricultural Sector (APEFA) has distributed 2329 stoves to different rural communities around the country.

The visiting team’s journey continued to Nyabihu the same day, July, 6, 2022.

A terraced ground in Nyabihu District
The terraces developed and trees planted by APEFA in 2016

They continued the journey in Rutsiro District on July 7, proceeded to Karongi on July 8, Nyamasheke 0n July 9 and Nyanza District on Saturday July 10, 2022.

A visit in Gishwati National Park where APEFA indigenous species of trees
Inside Gishwati Forest

In Karongi, from 2014-2016 APEFA implemented the project “Forest management in KARONGI Nyamasheke and Rusizi Districts’’ where APEFA did the activities including; Trees nursery preparation, trees plantation, maintenance.

In Nyanza, EPEFA currently implements the project “Community capacity building in the areas of livelihoods and agroforestry for landscape restoration in the Amayaga region” where APEFA enhances community skills in environmental and natural resources management, provides technical assistance to farmer groups for resilient livelihoods sub-projects and technical back-stopping support in forest management and builds beneficiary capacity in climate smart agriculture.

Forests planted in Karongi District in 2014-2016
A dance session with beneficiaries of forests planted in Karongi
Beneficiaries of forests planted in Nyamasheke District
APEFA implements the project “Community capacity building in the areas of agroforestry and livelihoods for landscape restoration in the Amayaga Region” where Nyanza District locates.

On Monday, the visiting staff from Livelihoods Fund held a meeting with APEFA staff at KIM Hotel in Kigali.

APEFA and Livelihoods staff after a meeting at KIM Hotel

The team went on with the visit to Kirehe District on Tuesday and ended their visit in Rulindo and Bugesera Districts where they visited on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.

In Bugesera, APEFA works with 4 cooperatives in small scale irrigation projects

One of APEFA ambitions is increasing the access to clean cooking energy to all at an affordable price while creating jobs for local communities and improving their livelihood.

APEFA also works with local communities on the grassroots in soil conservation and forest landscape restoration with the strategy to empower and facilitate communities through associations/cooperatives, in order to reduce human pressure on forests and other natural resources through livelihood improvement activities.

Livelihoods Venture is a social business with a mission to empower agricultural and rural communities towards living in sustainable ecosystems which serve as the foundation for their food security and provide for their vital needs.

Livelihoods Funds support projects in areas including the restoration and conservation of natural ecosystems, agroforestry and regenerative agriculture, carbon-saving technologies for instance efficient cook stoves and bio digesters.

To achieve positive change, Livelihoods Funds works with local partners like grassroots NGOs like APEFA, farmer cooperatives, social businesses where they provide the initial funding to implementing partners to launch the projects on the ground and finance their activities over time.