KEY actors in land use decisions from over 20 countries are meeting in Rwanda to deliberate on Economic Valuation of Land and Ecosystem services.
The three day workshop which kicked off yesterday aims at building capacity of key actors involved in land use decisions in relation to assessment of real value of land, the understanding of the multiple benefits originating from ecosystem services, and the awareness among others. The minister of natural resources Stanislas Kamanzi opened the workshop.
"Rwanda is delighted to host this sub-regional knowledge exchange and capacity building workshop on the Economic Valuation of Land and Ecosystem services; this workshop comes at the right time for us because of overall land reforms that we started," noted Kamanzi.
He said that Rwanda has also adopted the organic Law determining the use and management of land in Rwanda (known as Organic Land Law),"
"Rwanda and other countries in the region face the challenge of quantifying the value of our ecosystems; part of the ecosystem is lost due to land degradation. We also need to know how to value the ecosystem services and their contribution to our planet in general and our countries in particular," he said.
"Rwanda needs to know the monetary value of our forest and parks. We hope this workshop will equip participants on how to deal with that challenge," he added
He noted that the land reform included the registration of all land through land tenure regularisation, preparation of the national land use and development master plan, establishment of land administration institution and regulation of land related services (valuation, surveying).
The participants said they share the challenges in terms of land valuation and were optimistic they will draw lessons from the meeting.
Eng. Didier G. Sagashya, the Deputy Director General in Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, Department of Lands and Mapping said the meeting would enable Rwanda and other participants to share ideas on how land valuation is done in other countries.
"It would help us share how things are done in terms of land valuation, the way it is done doesn't fit beneficiaries and we see complaints, we hope to learn how other countries do the valuation considering the other kind of activities on the land like tourism activities among others," said Sagashya.
According to Boubakar Cissé, the regional coordinator of the United Nations Convention to combat Desertification(UNCCD), there is need to value land because it has been clear that the land is facing degradations. He added that scientists who are in the meeting will help participants to understand the role of land valuation.
"If we don't value the land we can't take care of it, the experts will help to understand how give the value of land" he said.