Postgraduate students funded by REMA successfully completed their research theses

Sixteen students from the University of Rwanda who were funded by the Rwanda Environment Management (REMA) under the Landscape Approach to Forest Restoration (LAFREC) have successfully completed their research theses.

Those students were funded following a Memorandum of Understanding signed between REMA and the University of Rwanda to support postgraduate students carrying out research for their theses in Gishwati-Mukura National Park.

The objective of this partnership was to establish a substantive collaboration, between the Ministry of Environment and its agencies and the University of Rwanda and Colleges and units to build the knowledge and skills within Environment and Climate Change through research, training and capacity building.

The Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management (CoEB), College of Science and Technology took a lead to coordinate all related activities from the time this MoU was signed in 2018.

In the beginning, the plan was to fund 30 postgraduate students from the University of Rwanda, but only sixteen students qualified for the funds to evaluate the success of the interventions of REMA in the implementation of the project, and to provide recommendations for future activities.

All sixteen research theses were submitted to designed supervisors nominated by UR, and were reviewed and approved in order to proceed with the validation by UR-LAFREC Research Oversight Board and REMA which took place on August 25,2020.

All the postgraduate students who benefited from REMA funding presented their research theses and responded to questions from the UR-LAFREC Research Oversight Board members. The manuscripts of the research theses are now available, and the University of Rwanda will proceed with their publication.

The Landscape Approach to Forest Restoration and Conservation (LAFREC), is a five-year project that uses a landscape approach to bring the forest ecosystems into better management and develop multiple benefits.

This will be achieved through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, increased forest cover, climate change adaptation efforts together with combating land degradation and provision of livelihood alternatives to the impacted communities.

The project which is implemented under the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) aims to demonstrate a landscape management for enhanced environmental services and climate resilience in one priority landscape of Gishwati and Mukura, and it results in a major advance in the restoration of the highly degraded Gishwati-Mukura landscape, enhancing both productive and environmental values.