Mukura Forest is a protected reserve in the North-West part of Rwanda covering about 1,200 square km a great natural resource for the Great Lakes region and the international community.
Mukura Forest used to be attached to Gishwati and Nyungwe before agents of deforestations came in. Mukura Forest reserve was created in 1951 with an area of 3, 000 ha. Today about 50% of the forest’s area has been lost due to deforestation and only about 1,600 ha of the original forest remains. This has resulted with high loss of biodiversity.
The forest is mainly covered by Softwood plantation like Pinus spp, Cupressus spp and Callitris spp.
Wildlife Species in Mukura Forest
It is home of over 402 species of mammal species over 1,061 species of birds, over 293 species of reptiles and amphibians and over 5, 793 species higher plants .
In order to restore the forest, the following is going on:
- Governments protection of the forest is through provision of Forest guards, capacity building and creates a wide range public awareness on the advantages of forests.
- Rwanda has made forestry one of the pillars of national economy playing a role in supporting Agriculture, Tourism, Environmental stability and Energy.
- The government has set its target of 30% green coverage by the year 2020 planting
- Involving local communities in the conservation of the Mukura forest reserve including the protection activities of the forest
- Increasing income generating activities outside the forest to motivate local communities for the conservation of the forest
- Creating local cooperatives to facilitate income generating activities
- Involving more women and the youth for the conservation and the development of the forest