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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Rwanda to plant millions of trees to fight climate change 

KIGALI (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has launched a campaign to plant more than 23 million of trees in a year to guard the country against climate change.

The campaign dubbed “Forests, the Source of Clean Air” will see trees planted on most degraded lands and continue to improve existing forests across the country.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rwandan minister of natural resources Vincent Biruta said increased forest coverage will boost Rwanda efforts to fight climate change.

“Planting as more trees as we can is the best way to manage climate change issues the world is facing. Restoration of forests holds the potential to shield us from the dangers of climate change,” he said.

Rwanda aims for a forest coverage of 30 percent by 2018, a goal that is likely to be achieved earlier as the current forest coverage stands at 29.6 percent, according to the ministry of natural resources.

The small central African country has also committed to restore 2 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020.

More than 700 million hectares of land are ripe for restoration in Africa, according to analysis by World Resources Institute and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Rwanda’s ambitious forest restoration plan is in line with the Bonn Challenge, a global ambition to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded lands by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

It was launched by world leaders at a ministerial roundtable in Bonn, Germany, in September 2011.

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