The City of Kigali has been awarded a certificate of accreditation among 25 newly accredited wetlands cities, for having taken exceptional measures to protect the city’s wetlands and to secure the benefits of those wetlands for people.
The awards were issued during the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) taking place from 5 – 13 November in Geneva.
The secretariat recognised the newly accredited cities for the significant achievement.
City Mayor, Pudence Rubingisa, received the recognition with pleasure. “We are indeed very thankful for this accreditation! In the current face of climate change, this recognition encourages City of Kigali and its human settlements to becoming more inclusive resilient, safe and sustainable (SDG#11) …action, action, action!” he said on Friday afternoon.
An accredited city benefits to gain international recognition and enter in the network of World Wetland Cities to demonstrate leadership in wetlands conservation and management.
Wetlands are Earth’s most threatened ecosystem, with 35% of the world’s wetlands lost since 1970.
Protecting them can help with global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and food and water security.
Hosted by China, representatives from governments of Contracting Parties at COP14 will agree on a work programme, and budgetary arrangements for the next triennium and to provide guidance on a range of ongoing and emerging environmental issues.
Participants understand that it is critical to engage with the Convention given the dire state of loss in the ecosystems the Convention is designed to protect. “We lose wetlands and peatlands three times faster than forests, yet these ecosystems are the world’s most efficient natural carbon stores, harbour diverse biodiversity and provide a range of ecosystem services,” organisers said.