City of Kigali Awarded Wetland City Accreditation

Geneva, 10 November,2022 - The City Kigali received Wetland City Accreditation Award during the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) taking place in Geneva from  form 5th to 13 November,2022. The COP14 convened governments, civil society, youth, academia and media to raise actions to protect and restore wetlands, the most valuable ecosystem for people and for nature.

Ramsar Independent Advisory Committee on Wetland City Accreditation selected the City of Kigali, amongst the 25 accredited cities for the second edition of the Wetland City Accreditation.

On behalf of Mayor of the City of Kigali, Ngango James, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative  to Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva said:

“It’s with no doubt that this award consists of an inspiration for the City of Kigali as well as other Cities in our region to set up and strengthen efforts toward the sustainable use of urban wetlands as well as sustainable socio-economic benefits for local populations”.

 “Wetlands in the City of Kigali contribute to livelihoods, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and carbon sequestration. In the last decade, rapid population growth with increased urbanization has led to a reduction of open spaces within the City including encroachment into natural habitats and wetland degradation exacerbated by climate change impact” Added Minister Counselor Ngango James,

The city of Kigali will get many advantages for being selected amongst accredited cities including among others: Join the Global online network of cities which obtained the wetland City Accreditation of the Ramsar Convention; the accreditation of the City of Kigali for "Wetland City Accreditation" allows Rwanda to gain international credit and positive publicity for its efforts in sustainable use of wetlands.

It is also an additional value to the environmental recognitions received by Rwanda such as the Green Globe Award in 2010 for the restoration of Rugezi-Burera-Ruhondo wetland, Rwanda's capital Kigali recognized as the cleanest city in Africa (Forbes' list, 2007), among others.

To date, out of 43  wetlands Accredited Cities in the World only 4 are in Africa namely Ghar el Melh (Tunisia), Mitsinjo (Madagascar), Kigali (Rwanda) ; Ifrane (Morocco) and Cape Town (South Africa)

Recognizing the importance of cities and urban areas, the Convention on Wetlands introduced the Wetland City Accreditation scheme in 2015. The voluntary scheme encourages cities to value their natural or human-made wetlands and commit collective efforts to protect, sustainably manage and restore urban wetlands.

During the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP13) in 2018 the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands recognized 18 cities. Following this second round of the scheme, a total of 43 cities in 17 countries are accredited as Wetland Cities. The 25 new cities will be recognized at COP14. 

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