On April 14th 2021, One Tree Planted and Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) signed a new project agreement with a total fund of USD 160,000. This fund will finance a new project —to be implemented by ARCOS— aiming at restoring degraded areas and enhancing climate resilience in mountainous areas of western Rwanda and in the lowlands of eastern Rwanda for an initial period from April 2021 to December 2022. The expected results from this project are defined on different levels including: restoring soil fertility in degraded agro-systems and enhancing farmers’ resilience to climate change impact through agroforestry and reforestation; enhancing habitat and biodiversity, preserving valuable watersheds in project focal landscapes and improving community livelihoods through enhanced access to ecosystem services and products.
On one hand, this project will involve the Rutsiro district (Western Province) specifically around Mukura Forest which is part of Gishwati-Mukura National Park, and on the other hand, the project will be implemented in Kirehe district (Eastern Province) notably along Kagera wetlands watershed.
Furthermore, during the implementation of this project, two activities will have much priority, tree planting in agro-systems, where 200,000 trees including mainly agroforestry and fruit trees will be planted together with promoting sustainable agriculture land management practices among local farmers to reduce soil erosion, enhance nutrients management as well as capacity building.
Regarding ecological benefits, planted trees will store carbon from the atmosphere, which will contribute to climate change mitigation. They will also play a big role in regenerating and stabilizing soil as well as enhancing its nutrients. In addition, trees will be instrumental in facilitating water filtration and contributing to watershed protection in project focal landscapes. These trees will include a diversity of species including indigenous species, melliferous and other species which are beneficial for biodiversity and various ecosystem functions and services.
The project targets 20 villages which will benefit, through ARCOS’ integrated approach of BEST1 , this project will benefit rural farmers through capacity building and institutional development, increased crop yields in terms of quality, quantity and diversity while taking care of their land by applying sustainable land management practices for sustainable agriculture and landscape restoration.
 B= Building sustainable institutions; E=Enhancing environmental resilience; S= Sustainable business solutions; and T= Transforming and Inspiring others)
Image Credits: One Tree Planted