REMA’s CEO bags ‘Forest Hero’ Award from UN


(REMA file picture)

The Director General of the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority, Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, was over the weekend honoured by the United Nations Forum on Forests, which was held in the Turkish commercial capital of Istanbul. Dr. Rose captured the key ‘Forest Heroes’ Award for Africa, in recognition for the work of REMA vis a vis forest protection and implementation of the country’s visionary forestry policy, which foresees, and is actually on course to accomplish it, to restore 30 percent forest cover across the Land of a Thousand Hills by 2020.

Almost all UN member countries were represented at the forum in Turkey, which dealt with global issues such as forest degradation, loss of forests and policies to restore them, no doubt taking one or more leaves from how Rwanda is doing things here in Eastern Africa. Rwanda was selected from among the 68 countries which has submitted documentation vis a vis the awards.

A statement published by the UN about the award reads in part: ‘Rose Mukankomeje has devoted her life to the protection and restoration of Rwandan forests. As her nation emerged from crisis, and in the face of great personal adversity, Rose took the initiative to bring Rwandans together to protect their natural resources from over exploitation and environmental degradation’.

Rwanda had in 2011 won global recognition for her groundbreaking forestry policies when the World Future Council selected the country and made the award at the UN Headquarters in New York. This was followed last year by a global award from UNEP, which recognized the contributions the forest conservation in Rwanda makes towards the protection of the crucially important ozone layer.

Congratulations to Rwanda, to REMA and last but not least to Dr. Rose for her committed work and leadership in keeping the country’s forests safe.