Green Amayaga

Forest Landscape Restoration in Rwanda’s Amayaga Region

Securing biodiversity and carbon benefits and strengthening livelihoods resilience through forest landscape restoration




The Forest Landscape Restoration project in the Amayaga region is a ground-breaking six year initiative that will afforest the degraded ecosystem and restore the natural forests of four districts in Rwanda’s Southern Province. It will promote biodiversity, foster ecosystem services, increase agricultural productivity and reduce the vulnerability of people and ecosystems to the adverse effects of climate change. 


The project is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is being implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in partnership with the Rwanda Forestry Authority (RFA) and the districts of Kamonyi, Ruhango, Nyanza and Gisagara.


Sustainable Development


The project will improve the livelihoods of local communities, increase agricultural productivity and food security, create green jobs as well as promote gender equality and expand forest management knowledge. More than 1.3 million people will benefit from the project, the majority of whom are women and young people. 


The project will create approximately 150,000 jobs during the six years of implementation and provide 7,500 households with livestock to improve food security and increase incomes. In addition 60,000 households will be provided with improved and energy efficient cook stoves to reduce wood consumption and greenhouse gases emissions, and halt indoor respiratory diseases. 


Environmental Impact


Overall, the Green Amayaga project will advance the restoration of the degraded forests in the area, the landscape of which covers more than 550 hectares, or 0.14% of Rwanda’s total national natural forests, 10% of the planted forest as well as many patches of remnant forest. The Amayaga region hosts the 354 hectare natural forest of Kibirizi-Muyira as well as the Busoga forest reserves.


The project targets forests that host important biodiversity and provide crucial ecosystem services to local communities. The project will enhance sustainable land management in the agricultural lands in the landscape, increase the productivity of plantation forests and reduce the negative impacts of household energy systems on the forests by introducing improved cookstoves as well as sustainable charcoal production. 


Regarding climate adaptation and resilience, the project will strengthen the resilience of communities and biodiversity and contribute to climate change stabilization particularly in the District of Kamonyi, Ruhango, Nyanza and Gisagara.  


The Green Amayaga project will also increase the erosion control and protection of marshlands and buffer zones, this will also increase agriculture productivity. In total, 263,000 hectares of agricultural land will be restored and rehabilitated. Small and large watersheds will also be rehabilitated and restored to provide water for human consumption as well as livestock and agriculture activities. 


Project in Numbers


  • Funding partners 

  • Total project investment: US $32.7m (RWF 31.9b)

    • Government of Rwanda: US $25.5m (RWF 24.8b)

    • GEF Grant: US $6.2m (RWF 6b)

    • UNDP Grant: US $1m (RWF 976m)

  • 1.3 million beneficiaries from Gisagara, Nyanza, Kamonyi, and Ruhango districts

  • 362,000 direct beneficiaries 

  • 150,000 green jobs to be created

  • 51.3% of the project beneficiaries will be women, and the majority will be young Rwandans

  • 60,000 households to be provided with improved and energy-efficient cooking stoves

  • 7,500 households to be provided with small livestock

  • 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions avoided over the next five years

  • 13 million tons of indirect greenhouse gas emissions avoided over the next 20 years

  • 1.4 million trees to be planted in the 2020/2021 Forest Planting Season

  • 263,000 hectares of degraded forests to be restored 

  • 263,000 hectares of agricultural land to be restored and rehabilitated

  • 25,000 hectares of agroforestation including fruit trees with increased productivity

  • 1,000 hectares and plantation forests with increased productivity