The rural communities in the districts of Nyamagabe, Bugesera, Nyaruguru, Burera, Nyanza, Rulindo and Karongi have stepped up efforts to plant trees as a way of preventing environmental degradation.
We still have a long way to go regarding tree planting but we have instituted a district task force to embark on the programme of forest conservation
As climate change continues to poses a major challenge globally, the government, in partnership with development partners, is providing all necessary support to ensure that forest cover is preserved.
Speaking to The New Times, some of the people engaged in conservation believe that if at least all districts in the country have a forest, the environmental degradation challenge would be addressed.
Innocent Bizimana, a resident of Gitega Cell, Nyamagabe District, said he has planted over 3,000 trees on a 2.4 hectare piece of land to back up the government tree planting programme.
"Apart from protecting the environment, the trees I planted two years ago are now mature and I can use my plantation as collateral to acquire a loan to facilitate me do other business," he said.
He was speaking during an assessment tour by International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC) officials, an international organisation mandated to help improve social and environmental stability in Central Africa's Great Lakes Region (CAGLR), on Monday.
Bizimana stated that he acquired support from the IFDC in form of fertilisers to enrich his tree plantation.
IFDC has provided one million of various tree species to rural communities in Rwanda.
"Before this initiative, I did not have any major economic activity taking place in my land. I decided to plant trees so that I can protect my soil from erosion," Bizimana added.
In order to increase community forestry activities, both communally and privately organised, rural communities in Rwanda are encouraged to involve in mass tree planting as a means to conserve the environment.
Rwanda's goal is to restore 30 percent of forest cover by 2020.
Alexis Nkurunzinza, the Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Affairs in Nyanza district said his district has participated in tree planting exercise to conserve the environment on 6,500 hectares of land.
"We still have a long way to go regarding tree planting but we have instituted a district task force to embark on the programme of forest conservation. We are also approaching the season of tree planting in November and we expect citizens to fully participate in the campaign," he said.
Rwanda's campaign to conserve environment has been recognized globally with an international award from the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) for its outstanding contribution to the Protection of the Ozone Layer that protects earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
The award was presented to Rwanda at the 14th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment in Arusha Tanzania over the weekend.
Bonaventure Nduwayezu, National Agro-forestry Officer at IFDC, said that his organisation had supported tree planting on 6,660 hectares of land in seven districts all over the country.
"We aim to increase fuel wood production by promoting private investment and agro forestry management and as well as protecting the environment," he said.
The campaign to plant trees on large scale started in 2009 and over a million trees have been planted in various areas in the country.