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„1000 Hills, 1000 Solutions“

World Future Council congratulates Rwandan President Kagame on Successful Forest Policy

Kigali, 10 July 2012 – Following the First Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on “Forests for People” in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council, has handed the organisation’s Future Policy Award trophy to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. The country’s successful efforts in managing forests were championed last year when the country was proclaimed the winner of the 2011 Future Policy Award. The Award celebrates the world’s most exemplary national policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations, and that produce practical and tangible results. The World Future Council foundation is an international policy research organisation that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions.

Rwanda is on course to reach its goal of increasing forest cover to 30% of total land area. Forest cover has already increased by 37% since 1990. Massive reforestation and planting activities that involve the local population are taking place and new measures such as agroforestry and education programmes are being implemented. The country has also been a pioneer in banning plastic bags: in 2008 a bill was introduced to prohibit the manufacture, import, use and sale of polythene bags in the country. Rwanda vowed to achieve country-wide restoration of its degraded soil, water, land and forest resources during the next 25 years and is currently developing a comprehensive action plan. Commenting on the multiple efforts taken by the country, the phrase of „1000 Hills, 1000 Solutions“ was coined at the Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on “Forests for People” in Kigali this weekend.

‘Rwanda is a leader in environmental policy-making. We congratulate the Government of Rwanda for its exemplary policies on forests, border to border landscape restoration and for land tenure policy providing women equal rights to aquire, own and inherit land. The WFC also commends Rwanda’s policy of banning plastic bags. We encourage more countries to follow suit.‘

At the Hearing, 25 parliamentarians and experts representing ten African countries underlined the urgent need to act on a national and local level to address the social, economic and environmental values of forests and trees. It casts a spotlight on successful and exemplary African policies and programmes which benefit current and future generations. Parliamentarians, policymakers and experts from Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia committed to take back to their countries the ideas, policies and successful experiences discussed and to work to get support for implementation.

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