The Foundation Audemars-Watkins and ARCOS Partner to Restore the Nyagasenyi Remnant Forest Landscape (Gahara Sector, Kirehe District)

In partnership with the Foundation Audemars-Watkins and Kirehe District, ARCOS is going to implement a three-year project aimed at restoring the Nyagasenyi remnant forest landscape and its water catchment and sustain surrounding community livelihoods through landscape restoration, integrated watershed management and eco-agricultural value chain development.

Located in Eastern Province, Nyagasenyi natural forest and its catchment cover about 2,800ha and falls under Kirehe District, Gahara Sector. It’s shared between two cells namely; Nyagasenyi in the North and Nyakagezi in the South. It’s a special wetland forest connected to Cyunuzi wetland in East and Rwagitugusa wetland in the North which the last is connected to Akagera wetland in the extreme South. 

It is a small but very useful forest worthy to restore as it hosts many rare tree species in the region like Anthocleista grandiflora and Syzygium cordatum as well as several animal species including snakes like cobras and mambas. The flora and fauna of this forest have been listed among threatened terrestrial ecosystems and species in need of protection in Rwanda by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority in 2015. This accentuates why this forest needs restoration.” said Dr Sam Kanyamibwa, the Executive Director of ARCOS. 

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 integrated landscape restoration and management plan development.

Dr Kanyamibwa stated that ARCOS plans to engage over 1,000 households — reaching approximately 4,000 people in Nyagasenyi Remnant Forest landscape. He added that the project intends to involve also the youth to take active role in protecting and improving their environment. Finally, 3 pilot schools in Kayanza catchment will join the Rwanda Eco-Schools Programme, part of an international programme coordinated by ARCOS in Rwanda.