World Environment Day 2012 Involving Local Communities In Sustainable Land Management
Villagers sat on a hillside in Giti Sector, Gicumbi District, waiting for the arrival of local leaders, the Rwanda Environment Management Agency (REMA), and UNDP staff. As part of the celebration around the 2012 World Environment Day, UNDP conducted a field visit of one of the successful projects in the environment portfolio. The main objective of the visit was to witness the impact of Decentralization and Environment Management Project (DEMP) on the lives of the local community and document the achievements and challenges they face with the implementation of the project.
Rwanda is a small, land-locked and densely populated country. Consequently, land resources are scarce and have to be protected and used sustainably. The DEMP project is based on the principle that local communities can protect and sustainably use these resources if they are directly involved in the planning and decision-making processes. The project was launched in 2004 and due to its success it was scaled up and extended for an additional five years until 2013.
The project is technically and financially supported by UNDP and implemented by REMA. It was initially launched in six districts of the Western Province and subsequently the project was expanded to all 30 districts of Rwanda during the second phase of the project.