NYUNGWE BUFFER ZONES SET FOR COMMERCIAL TREE FARMING
The contracts signed last year, between the Rwandan government and the New Forest Company, to manage and sustainably utilize the Nyungwe Forest buffer zones, are now becoming fully operational, after NFT has entered into a tripartite partnership with the Rwanda Development Bank and the Rwanda Social Security Board.
The company can now finally commence the planned planting of millions of new trees to enhance the buffer zone while at the same time embark on harvesting in areas where softwood has reached maturity. The New Forest Company last year entered a 49 year initial lease agreement with Rwanda and is committed to turn timber production within the buffer zone into a sustainable long term business, creating business opportunities in the wake of their activities, such as creating timber plants for building materials like planks and poles but also furniture manufacturing and the processing of wood waste for energy production.
Nyungwe Forest National Park has in recent years increased its visibility on the global adventure tourism market manifold, more so since the nearby Congo Nile Trail was launched from where hikers and access the forest and its short, medium and long distance trails, and the canopy walk at the new park visitor centre has become a magnet for tourists who want to see what rich biodiversity exists in the canopy of the forests giant trees.
Other parts of the buffer zone around the forest national park are dedicated to growing some of Rwandas finest teas in extensive plantations, which are often visited by tourists when traversing the area, to better understand how tea is processed, from the plucked leaf to the final product a freshly brewed, tasty cup of Rwandan highland tea.
Making sustainable use of all the available resources has become a hallmark of development in the land of a thousand hills and the partnership with the New Forest Company is bound to add yet another feather in the countrys cap. Watch this space.