1. Project background The world is facing a problem of environment protection.
The situation has caused many challenges to the environment like climate change and the loss of many species.
In the past years, in Rwanda as in other developing countries, the climate was regular, but currently the irregularity of seasons has caused droughts in some parts of the country. Our national parks have a great role in the protection of our climate due to a large cover of trees and being the residence of many species that we regard as our heritage. Those species, which live in those parks, have also been part of the development of Rwanda through tourism, which has given a whopping above the export product of the economy of the country. Noted again those national parks are the residence of many species.
Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe National Park and Gishwati Park are the important parks of Rwanda which shelter different species of animals like: mountain gorillas, lions, leopards, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, giraffe, and golden monkeys amongst others.
Another reminder is that our agricultural raining season somehow depends on the existence of those parks, and also it is known that one of our forests, Nyungwe National Park, has in it's surface the source of the Nile River which has always had a great importance and impact to the lives of the people in different countries of Eastern and Northern Africa.
Rwanda Development Board ( RDB ), an institution that has the parks and their species in it's charge, said that some species were disappearing because of not having clear strategies about how to protect the parks and says that the poachers have had their fair share in the disappearance of those species. So, it is very important as Rwandans to protect our environmental heritage because we are one of the few countries that shelters the disappearing species, the mountain gorillas.
2. The problem While the government of Rwanda is establishing different programs to conserve and preserve national parks and their species, the problem that remains is the state of mind of the citizens about the importance of the biodiversity to their daily lives. Until today, Rwandans have ignored the importance of their environmental heritage, and the major challenge to the population of Rwanda about this issue is that they don't have access to full information concerning the preservation of their environmental heritage. Due to the gap that exists between different beneficiaries, the flow of information has become a challenge to not only the present generation, but also will affect the future generations because this situation will create total ignorance of the interaction between the biodiversity and people.
4. The solution In order to build a peaceful co-existence between people and the biodiversity and to promote education as the key to sustainable development, Youth Ambassador Shumbusho Patience as winner of Andika Rwanda 2015 with his team through International Development Exchange Association (IDEA Rwanda), will address this challenge through empowering the culture of reading for quality education by diffusing the issue through writing story-telling books that talk about the Rwandan environmental heritage and establishing a Mobile Library for the schools. This will come on occasion to future generation help them know more about biodiversity and it's significant role in the development of the country and of the world's environmental health as well.
It is simple to understand how to improve the health of our family. But how can we both sustain our land as well as promoting healthier communities?
When we talk about the environmental health, we mean the way our life is affected by the world around us and also how our activities affect the health of world. When food, water and air are contaminated, they can make us sick.
If we are not careful about how we use the air, water, and land, we can harm ourselves. By protecting our environment, we protect our health.
It is better for households to plant trees in their surroundings, which must be fruit-bearing types because these trees will serve a multiple of purposes. Trees in the vicinity will provide shade, protect the abode against strong winds, provide fresh fruit to the community and lastly absorb the carbon dioxide and emit oxygen through photosynthesis.
In fact, the rural areas don’t engage effectively in environmental issues mitigation due to lack of financial resources, skills among people, mindset, lack of related guide modules, as well as appropriate program.
In order to tackle this issue, IDEA Rwanda will use “DEF” (Domestic Edible Fruits) as a holistic approach to promote environmental education through leaning by practice program in Bugesera district to empower rural villages by planting “Domestic Edible Fruits” in order to overcome environmental problems and Chronic malnutrition as well as livelihoods issues with action-learning for effective and sustainable environment management in rural community to improve quality of life.