Rwanda: Thousand Hills point to 2020

18/12/2008

Ramsar and FAO series of radio documentaries on wise use of wetlands and food security in Rwanda

Rwanda: Thousand Hills point to 2020
A radio reportage on Wetlands and Food Security in Rwanda

October 2008

In the framework of a Swiss Grant for Africa project to Rwanda, Ramsar and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization have joined hands to produce a series of radio documentaries to highlight the strong correlations that exist between the wise use of wetlands and food security in a land-locked country such as Rwanda.

The documentaries explain why the wise use of wetlands in Rwanda is vital in order to protect and promote their normal functioning. To this effect, four major wetland complexes in Rwanda have been considered to be critical ecosystems, for which an integrated program management is a priority. These are: Kamiranzovu wetland in Cyangugu districts, Rweru-Mugesera wetland in Kibungo district, Rugezi-Ruhondo wetland shared by Ruhengeri and Byumba districts, and Akagera wetland shared by Kibungo and Umutara districts.

The project has benefited from the active involvement and participation of the officials of the government of Rwanda and the local communities who play an important role in safeguarding the wetlands for agricultural and food security purposes.

Ramsar and FAO came to the conclusion that engaging various partners in the wise use of wetlands will ensure a holistic approach to the issue at hand. All concerned will implement the proper coordination of socio-economic activities concerning wetland management, a factor which leads to efficient implementation of policies for sustainable food security.

In addition to the series of documentaries which include three feature stories (one English, one French, one Kinyarwanda) and several news items (English/French) for radio broadcast in Rwanda and for dissemination in selected networks (UN Radio, EBU, OneWorld Radio, world radios e.g. VOA, Vatican Radio, SABC, etc., and national radios)., the project has also delivered one story proposal for print release which has been posted on the FAO web site, and a photo gallery of outstanding pictures of Rwanda’s wetlands and their role in food security on the occasion of the opening of the 10th Conference of the Parties of the Ramsar Convention (Changwon, Korea, 28 October 2008). Previously radio statements by the Heads of FAO, Jacques Diouf, and of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Anada Tiéga,  had been posted on the FAO Web site (http://www.fao.org/audiocatalogue/index.jsp?lang=EN) on the occasion of World Food Day (16 October 2008).

Discussions among FAO and the Ramsar Secretariat are currently being held in order to identify other joint actions in countries in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Tunisia and Kenya.

Audio CDs of the radio documentaries, which are also available online (http://www.fao.org/audiocatalogue/index.jsp?lang=EN), will be distributed to Ramsar Administrative Authorities and other partners. The press article and the photo gallery can be consulted at http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000943/index.html

Contacts (FAO) Liliane Kambirigi Liliane.Kambirigi@fao.org and Lucilla Spini Lucilla.Spini@fao.org (Ramsar) Abou Bamba bamba@ramsar.org

-- Abou Bamba


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