The New Times (Kigali)

13 November 2011

Rwanda: Over 35,000 Trees Planted As Caravan of Hope Sets Off

Residents of Kigali Sector in Nyarugenge District, together with representatives of various private and public institutions, Thursday planted over 35,000 trees.

This was one of the day's activities as the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, flagged off the 'Trans-African Caravan of Hope'-a demonstration movement aimed at calling upon developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5 percent as stated in the Kyoto protocol.

The demonstration that started in Burundi will cover 70,000 kms through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana to Durban in South Africa by road.

"Let's not only plant trees but also take good care of them to ensure that they grow and serve as we expect forests to play a significant role in protecting and conserving our environment," Kamanzi said.

He called upon residents to take personal responsibility and encourage others to get on board in making the environment green.

Speaking to The Sunday Times as Rwanda's organizers of the caravan, ActionAid Rwanda's acting Country Director, Edmond Kabagambe, said the demonstration should send a strong message to developed countries.

"Developing countries contribute less to global warming but are heavily being affected as a result of industrialization in developed countries. Therefore, these countries should respect and take over responsibility to help or finance the mitigation or adoption of climate change effects," he said.

Among the dignitaries who attended the event were Kigali City Mayor Fidele Ndayisaba, Nyarugenge District Mayor, Solange Mukasonga, and the Minister of Internal Security, Musa Fazil Harerimana.

"It is in our plans to plant trees on 300 hectares countrywide, meaning that at least in each district, we intend to plant about 10 hectares," Harerimana said.

The 'Trans-African Caravan of Hope' is organized by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a continental coalition of civil society organizations.

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