Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

21 December 2012

Rwanda: Park Guards and Trackers Get Diplomas

15 park guards and trackers from Rwanda and Burundi have received diplomas from the Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management (KCCEM), after having completed a two-year course. Their studies were sponsored by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for which they worked.

According to Marie-Christine Gasingirwa, the vice-chairwoman of the advisory committee of KCCEM, the promotion of conservation and tourism through higher education is key to tourism development.

The 15 graduates are from 5 regional parks including Virunga, Akagera and Nyungwe National parks in Rwanda and Burundi's Kibira National park, as well another park located in the southern part of Burundi. "Each Rwandan park has 4 individuals among the graduates, 2 from Kibira National park and 1 from the southern Park of Burundi," said Richard Nasasira, KCCEM's principal, adding that the courses mainly related to wildlife issues. "It was a capacity building course in issues of wildlife and parks management."

"We have learnt a lot on biodiversity conservation," said Daniel Niyonsaba, one of the graduates, who also explained that during the course, they have identified challenges to Rwanda and Burundi's biodiversity, such as fragmentation of some protected areas, invasive alien species as well as bush fires. "We are committed to go fight all those issues in order to help attract more tourists and nature lovers and generating more income for our countries. We used to work in as guides or trackers in parks for money. We had no sense of environment protection and conservation, which is what this two-year course has instilled in us."

Rica Rwigamba, the head of tourism at RDB, explained that KCCEM attracts parks stakeholders for the Alberta rift region, and promotes initiatives of the transboundary collaboration in tourism. "The fact that we have trained park employees from both Burundi and Rwanda together shows that we are trying to build a strong partnership between the two states and to make parks collaborate in issues of protection and animal reintegration."

The Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management (KCCEM) is located on the outskirts of Nyungwe National Park, 54 km from Huye district. It is an academic institution, operating under the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), with the mandate to develop capacity in Conservation and Environmental Management in Rwanda and the wider Albertine Rift Region.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 Rwanda Focus. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.