Ensuring biodiversity conservation and managing natural resources efficiently to achieve sustainable development is a noble act that the current generation should embrace if we are to give a challenge for the future generations to make the world even a better place to live. From forests to wild and aquatic animals, water bodies to fresh natural air, the world is experiencing unprecedented losses of natural ingredients of a good life. Coupled with the changing climate, characterized by high temperatures, floods and disastrous droughts, life on earth is getting sour every day. And man is the ultimate culprit of all these dangers but also the eminent victim.
What we are reminded of with the above worrying situation is that there is need for dialogue on what is happening and what results will be when we all remain reluctant to act. We are constantly reminded that as the world advances in technology, industrialization, the need for protection of environment and biodiversity is paramount. Therefore, we should be cognizant of the need to keep biodiversity secure. In order to achieve this, there is need for all stakeholders—Governments, Civil Society, the private sector and the populations to come together and seek lasting solutions that will ensure maximum security of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources.
Being an Institute of Policy Analysis and Research mandated to induce a culture of debate and dialogue on issues facing Rwanda and the rest of the world, , IPAR-Rwanda, organized its 6th Annual Research Conference under the theme “Secure Biodiversity and Ensure Management of Natural Resources toward Sustainable Development”. This was the second time IPAR-Rwanda explores natural sciences. Last year, the 5th Annual Research was held under the theme “Climate Change and Economic Resilience” and the discussions that were held clearly showed that there is more to be done to maintain a friendly climate.
It is therefore not by coincidence that these two themes are interrelated and this reflects the emerging issues more related to climate change, green economy, and sustainable development. We believe that without secure biodiversity, it would be very difficult to ensure proper Management of Natural Resources and that without taking into account Climate Change, it is almost impossible to achieve economic resilience and sustainable development. With this year’s conference theme, we wanted to build on last year’s discussions as we focus on Biodiversity and Natural Resources for sustainable development. This is more obvious because climate change could undermine our efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The 6th IPAR-Rwanda Annual Research Conference was held on 23rd March 2017 at Umubano Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda and it hosted 100 participants from government, development partners, civil society, academia, researchers and the media. The conference was supported by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), our long-term funder, and the JRS Biodiversity Foundation, an independent grant-making foundation based in Seattle, United States of America (USA).
I would like therefore to express my sincere gratitude to the ACBF and JRS Biodiversity Foundation for their support towards making this conference a success. I would also like to appreciate the support from the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA) which accepted our invitation to deliver the opening remarks, a task that was well done by the Permanent Secretary Ms. Fatina MUKARUBIBI. Our sincere appreciations also goes to the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) Rwanda Country Director Mr. Stephen Rodriguez who delivered a key note address during the conference as well as the Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) Eng. Colletha RUHAMYA for her participation and making a key note presentation.
I would also like to profoundly thank various researchers whose work on Biodiversity and national resources served as catalyst to the fruitful discussions that led to the development of various policy and research recommendations on these areas. Finally, I would like to thank all participants from the public, civil society and private organizations who secured March 23rd 2016 to take part in the lively discussions which characterized this year’s Annual Research Conference.
This report summarizes and synthesizes the proceedings of the 6th IPAR-Rwanda Annual Research Conference and will give you not only an understanding of Rwanda’s position on Secure Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management for Sustainable Development but also the various recommendations agreed on in the conference.
I believe that in each of our institutional and individual capacities, there is something we can do to better conserve the biodiversity and ensure efficient use of natural resources to build the foundations for the next generations to make the world even a better place to live.
6th Annual research report