Rwanda will tomorrow mark the 39th Tree Planting Day by beginning to plant 30,739,957 seedlings around the country. This year’s event is being held under the theme “Enhancing climate change resilience through agroforestry” and recognises the role played by forests in the restoration of ecosystems and in enhancing climate change resilience. The country’s tree planting season will be launched in Kanama Sector in Rubavu District.

The Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta, said Rwanda will continue to increase the surface area covered by forests as they contribute significantly to sustainable development and building a green economy. By 2018, Rwanda aims to have 30% its surface area covered by forests, up from 28.8% as of the end of 2013/2014. Every year, Rwanda will plant trees on 8,150 hectares to achieve that target.

“We will plant over 30 million trees this season of which 60% will be agroforestry species. Individuals wishing to plant trees on their own farm can register at their Umudugudu (village) to get seedlings,” said Minister Biruta.

Every year, Rwanda marks Tree Planting and Afforestation Day by dedicating a whole season to activities of planting trees and afforestation. The celebration of Tree Planting Day is a good opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of increasing forest resources. Activities will be carried out in all districts and will continue for the entire planting season. The prepared seedlings include woodlots, agroforestry and fruits trees. All citizens, local authorities, government institutions, civil society organisations as well as private sector institutions are encouraged to participate in afforestation activities and forest management.

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