NEW WILDLIFE BILL AWAITING PRESIDENTIAL CONSENT TO BECOME LAW
The various amendments to the Rwandan wildlife laws – most notably the provision to pay compensation to people suffering damages to property, injuries and loss of life by game straying out of the national parks – has received the approval of Rwanda’s second chamber, the Senate, yesterday. Previous objections by sections of Senators had been resolved by discussions amongst the law makers and the new bill is now being sent to President Kagame to assent to it before it becomes the law of the land.
Lack of compensation was often cited as one of the key issues communities, living around national parks like Akagera, have expressed and been disgruntled about, but the latest amendments and changes will now see to it that destroyed – or rather eaten – crops, damaged to homesteads and in particular injuries and the occasional death will not see families become destitute but receive fair value for what the lost.
Rwanda’s tourism industry is the main engine of economic growth and having communities support conservation measures will be made easier when the new law takes effect.