The Queen’s Baton Relay was today 10th November 2021 hosted at Nyandungu Urban Eco-Tourism Park in the City of Kigali.
The Baton which arrived in Rwanda on 9th November, is being taken to various destinations around the world as part of commonwealth games traditions. The 2022Commonwealth Games are set to start in Birmingham, United Kingdom from July 28 to August 8 2022.
In Rwanda, it was taken to the Kigali Genocide Memorial at Gisozi on Monday. Today, it was also taken to the Nyandungu Urban Wetland Ecotourism Park, and later in the afternoon to Lycée de Kigali.
“The choice of this destination could not have come at a better time than now, when the world’s leadership are congregated in Glasgow, Scotland to discuss how to boost efforts to ramp up support for a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery and support to low-carbon transitions that put people at the center” said Juliet Kabera, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in her welcome remarks.
The wetland was degraded due to human activities which endangered its ecosystem. It was at that point that REMA came in with the objective to restore and conserve Nyandungu wetland ecosystem, promote the sustainable management of natural resources, and support livelihood diversification to enhance incomes for local communities as well as providing educational opportunities.
The restored Nyandungu wetland habitat includes a fig forest of native species, a restored wetland, a rehabilitated stream and ponds, and a reed-bed for pollution abatement of wetlands. Further, the Park has a network of walkways, road, nature-viewing areas, picnic areas, an information center, medicinal garden, the Pope’s garden, and a restaurant, just to mention a few.
“The Queen’s Baton relay event today, we hope, is going to help us showcase to the World, and particularly to the Commonwealth countries that it is possible to protect the environment, using nature-based solutions, such as wetland protection and restoration, as well as provide an important means through which cities such as Kigali can meet both the climate change mitigation and adaptation goals, while simultaneously providing a multitude of co-benefits for ecosystems, economies, and societies” added Juliet Kabera, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a great tradition of the Commonwealth games, and the Baton symbolizes the links between all the commonwealth family and travels in all the 72 countries and territories of the commonwealth with the message inside from the Queen of United Kingdom which will be read at the end of the Relay.