The third tree planting season to protect Cyamudongo forest launched with a speech by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry

The launch of third tree planting season of the Cyamudongo project was joined by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, the Director of the Tree Planting Unit of Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority and the Mayor of Rusizi District. The ceremony was attended by farmers who receive tree seedlings to plant on their fields and have been trained by the project in agroforestry, tree planting and tree maintenance. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry emphasized the importance of the close cooperation between the project and the local population to conserve Cyamudongo forest. Further information about this event in Rwanda can be found on the page of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry and in the local news.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry

Mr Jean Claude Musabyimana, permanent secretary of MINILAF, addresses the local residents.

Mayor of Rusizi district

The mayor of Rusizi districts and a local farmer plant a tree seedling together.

Delegation at the field station of Cyamudongo project

After the activities in the field, the delegation met at the field station of the project for further discussions.


Route of corridor path between Cyamudongo and Nyungwe forests decided during stakeholder meeting

The stakeholder meeting took place in Higiro cell office in Nyamasheke district. After a short presentation of the project, an introduction on the topic of landscape connectivity was given. Subsequently, the characteristics of the proposed agroforestry corridor as well as alternative corridor routes were discussed. The route with less eucalyptus plantations in the corridor's perimeter, a larger distance to residential sites and a shorter total length was favored by the participants of the meeting. It was pointed out that it is crucial that the local community develops ownership to ensure the sustainability of the corridor. The approach of the project to involve the local population has proved successful so far, as demonstrated by the high level of interest and participation of farmers in project activities in Rusizi district.

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Stakeholder meeting at Higiro cell office

Representatives of the general public, of Nyungwe National Park and authorities at district and sector level joined the discussions on the characteristics and the route of the planned agroforestry corridor.

Participants of the stakeholder meeting

The participants of the meeting are looking forward to the implementation of the activities leading to the establishment of the agroforestry corridor.


Evaluation of farmers trained in the project with regard to the application of agroforestry techniques

The aim of the evaluation was to obtain information on the number of seedlings that have survived after planting in the fields, on problems encountered after planting and on the  measures taken by the farmers to maintain the young trees. To this end, fields of 10% of the farmers who received tree saplings during the project's first planting season in autumn 2017 were visited for evaluation. The majority of the young trees have survived and will constitute an important component of the agroforestry buffer zone to be established around Cyamudongo forest. The high survival rate is due, amongst other factors, to the measures taken by the farmers to care for the young trees. These measures include activities such as weeding and the use of compost or fertilizers. 2 Column Layout

Evaluation farmers' fields

Farmers participating in the project activities were interviewed and their fields visited by the project staff for evaluation purposes.

Established agroforestry tree

The young trees planted during the planting season in autumn 2017 have already grown to a considerable size.


The environmental ministers of Rhineland-Palatinate and of Rwanda visited Cyamudongo project

A delegation headed by the Rhineland-Palatinate Minister for the Environment, Ulrike Höfken, and the Rwandan Minister of Environment, Dr. Vincent Biruta, visited the field office of the project and Cyamudongo forest with the aim to learn more about the project, its activities and achievements. After a presentation of the project by the director of the project, Mr. Siegmar Seidel, a visit to one of the project’s tree nurseries took place.  Furthermore, in the area of Gaseke cell/Nyakabuye sector some planting sites were visited where agroforestry systems were established during the planting season in autumn 2017. Thereafter, an excursion to the forest took place during which Prof. Fischer of the University Koblenz-Landau presented some characteristic and unique plant species of Cyamudongo forest. Further information about the delegation visit can be found in the local news.
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Visit of tree nursery

The delegation visited one of the tree nurseries run by the project to see where the tree seedlings are produced.

Visit of agroforestry plots

After visiting the tree nursery the delegation headed to the farmers' fields, where agroforestry systems were established during the planting season autumn 2017.

Field trip to the forest

A field trip to the Cyamudongo forest with its unique biodiversity completed the visit by the delegation.


Delegation headed by the minister of Lands and Forestry visited the agroforestry experimental plots in Ruhande, Rwanda

Minister Francine Tumushime and her counterpart Minister Ulrike Höfken from Rhineland-Palatinate visited the agroforestry experimental plots of the University of Koblenz-Landau at Ruhande/Butare, Huye. The experimental plots were established to investigate how soil erosion can be reduced effectively. The results of two decades of research provide the basis for the agroforestry projects implemented by the University of Koblenz-Landau in Rwanda.  Also the tree seed center and arboretum of Ruhande were toured. The aim was to discuss the provision of high quality tree propagation material. 

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Ministers Francine Tumushime and Ulrike Höfken

Delegation visit to the agroforestry experimental plots of the University Koblenz-Landau in Rwanda.

Agroforestry experimental plots

The agroforestry experimental plots exemplify the integration of agriculture and forestry to establish sustainable land-use systems.



Trees for schools in the project region

After a short introduction to the Cyamudongo project, tree seedlings were planted together with pupils on the school grounds of Group Scolaire Albert Le Grand Gatare and Groupe Scolaire Nyamubembe. The pupils were previously taught by project staff about the importance of forests and the interrelation between agriculture, erosion and agroforestry. The lessons have been well received by pupils and teachers alike. Since pupils are important additional multipliers of the project idea, further schools will be included in the project activities during the duration of the project.

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Planting trees on school ground

Pupils participate in the planting of tree saplings on their school grounds.

School lessons

The vivid demonstrations during the school lessons left lasting impressions.


The Cyamudongo project planted its first trees to establish agroforesty systems

The first trees that the project has grown in its tree nurseries were planted on 28.09.2017 in Gaseke cell/Nyakabuye sector. Further trees will be planted troughtout the rainy season. In preparation of the project's first planting season, the project team was engaged in a wide array of activities. Tree nurseries were constructed, tree saplings were produced in ample quantities, village meetings were held to inform local residents about the upcoming project activities and trainings were conducted on agroforestry related topics for interested farmers. From now until 2021, the project is planting trees during both biannual rainy seasons to establish sustainable agroforestry systems together with local farmers to contribute to the conservation and protection of Cyamudongo forest. 

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Visiting farmers' fields

The project agronomists visit the fields of the farmers and advise the land owners on-site regarding the selection of the tree saplings.

Transporting tree saplings

Assistants transport the tree saplings from the tree nursery to the plant distribution point and thus ensure a continuous supply for planting.

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Farmer receiving tree saplings

Farmers receive the seedlings at the plant distribution point. Interns are responsible for record taking during the planting activities.

Support from planting assistants

The farmers receive support by trained planting assistants in the establishment of their agroforestry systems.

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Protecting seedlings

The knowledge and skills acquired during the farmers' training for the protection and care of the young trees are put into practice.

Farmer with tree saplings

A farmer proudly presents the tree saplings he has just received for his field.


First round of farmers' trainings in preparation for the project's first planting season completed

Between August and September trainings were offered for interested farmers on the subject of agroforestry. The first training unit covered the topics soil erosion, agroforestry land-use systems and the properties of agroforestry tree species. The second training unit included more specifically details on tree and hedgerow planting and maintenance as well a compost preparation. Participation in both training units offered by the project is a prerequisite for receiving tree saplings in the coming planting season. Through the training, the project promotes knowledge about agroforestry species, guarantees the correct planting and aftercare of the young trees and increases the acceptance for local tree species. More than 1.200 local farmers who own land in the surroundings of Cyamudongo forest were trained during the first round of trainings. The project aims to train more than 9.000 farmers until 2021.
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Soil erosion demonstration

The topic of soil erosion is introduced using an experimental setup that illustrates the problem in a comprehensible way.

Learning about agroforestry tree species

During the farmers' trainings, the participants have the opportunity to share their knowledge about agroforestry tree species.


Study tour to Cyamudongo forest attented by staff of the project partners    

Staff of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) and the Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management (KCEEM) joined a study tour to Cyamudongo forest and a concluding workshop. After an introduction to the project, the  Cyamudongo forest was visited to learn more about its biodiversity. Subsequently, the  plan  to  connect  Cyamudongo  and  Nyungwe  forests  through  an  agroforestry corridor was discussed and the planning process initiated. During group work, ideas on how to raise awareness of the conservation status of Cyamudongo forest in the local community were reviewed.  

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Study tour to Cyamudongo forest

The study tour offers the opportunity to learn more about the special features of Cyamudongo forest.

Workshop discussion session

The participants of the workshop present the results of their group work to the other attendees.


Park rangers learn more about the biodiversity of Cyamudongo forest through tailored training units

In March, rangers of Nyungwe National Park participated in training units offered by the Cyamudongo project on Phytodiversity, Zoodiversity and Methods of rapid biodiversity assessment and disturbances. Each training unit lasted three to four days and was attented by ten participants.  The active learning experience, which resulted from the integration of theory and practice, was appreciated by the participants. The trainings will be repeated throughout the duration of the project with the aim of improving the identification and monitoring skills of the participants by conveying a sound knowledge of key characteristics of plant and animal taxa as well as of a variety of monitoring parameters such as indicator species and species richness.

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Phytodiversity training

The participants learn about key features such as leaf arrangement and floral  symmetry, which are crucial for plant identification.

Zoodiversity training

During a nocturnal field trip the participants have the opportunity to observe amphibians in their natural habitat.

RBA training

Through hands-on activities, the participants learn about the monitoring of environmental change in forest ecosystems.

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