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Environmentalists to Be Trained in Forest Monitoring

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Issue date: 
21 June 2011
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Rwandan forest monitoring specialists are set to undergo training in modern techniques to help them implement and improve national forest monitoring programs.

The training will among other things,, equip the trainees with necessary skills to conduct field surveys, lead field campaigns and come up with estimates of biomass tapped by trees.

The estimates are necessary for carbon emissions trading, according to officials.

Emissions' trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.

Tropical countries with big forest cover are usually paid by polluters, mostly industrialised countries.

The training will be conducted by the Woods Hole Research Centre (WHRC), a private, not-for profit environmental research institution.

Speaking to The New Times WHRC Africa Program Director, Nadine T. Laporte, explained that the training will focus on forest cover and carbon density mapping.

"All the above will be explained with the intent of providing relevant data sets and methods to strengthen the capacity of tropical and subtropical countries to engage in Reducing Deforestation and forest Degradation in Developing countries (REDD)," Laporte said.

The training will be conducted in Musanze in the Virunga National Park.

In an interview, the Director of the National Forestry Authority, Frank Rutabingwa, said that the training will equip the local specialists with the skills to deal with issues of carbon emissions.

"We cannot trade the carbon when we don't know how to estimate it," he said, adding that sometimes, middle men come in making the whole process non profitable.

Concerning the current situation of natural forests in the country, Rutabingwa explained that Rwanda currently faces no deforestation threat since all natural forests are protected as national parks.

He also said that the government had done a lot in sensitising the people to replace the trees they cut.

According to WHRC, forest monitoring is becoming increasingly important to international policy efforts to slow the rate of tropical forest loss.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut