On July 9, 2012, the World Future Council- an international policy research organisation that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions awarded Rwanda with the ‘Future Policy Award’ for its goal to have 30 percent of the country’s total land area as forest.
The award was presented to President Paul Kagame, by the organisation’s director, Alexandra Wandel, during the first Inter-Parliamentary forum on “Forests for People” organised in Kigali.
“Besides government’s commitment to increase forest cover, his organisation also recognised the introduction of the land tenure system,” said Wandel. She also explained that the choice of Rwanda as host was to enable other countries to learn from its policies and programmes.
At the event participants agreed to advocate and push their respective governments to ban the use of polyethylene bags. Rwanda banned the use of plastic and polythene bags in 2005.
The Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, noted that despite what we have achieved in environmental protection, a lot still needs to be done and one of the ways we can advance further is through coming together with other countries to collectively devise lasting solutions to these issues.
The forum was attended by delegates including 23 Parliamentarians, forestry policymakers and experts from countries in Central East Africa and East.
Participants learnt from Rwanda’s way doing things including banning the use of plastic and polythene bags in 2005, which they will use to push governments in their respective countries.
Countries represented include Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia.
The forest policy award celebrates the world’s most exemplary national policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations, besides producing practical and tangible results.