By Elias Hakizimana.
Traditional endangered plants had a vital role in human being’s daily lives but not all people have a heart of protecting and conserving them.
Some of these important plants were used to heal most of the illnesses without going to the hospital.
Red Rocks Initiatives for Sustainable Development, an initiative of Red Rocks Rwanda in Musanze District in the Center of Nyakinama Cultural Center has taken the lead to bring back such plants through what they call “Red Rocks Botanic Garden”.
Red Rocks inter cultural exchange center also connects Tourism, Conservation and Community Programmes for Sustainable Development.
Harriet Ingabire, Managing Director and co-founder of Red Rocks Initiatives (Act of Hope Foundation) told The Inspirer that Red Rocks decided to conserve most of the tree species Rwandans’ ancestors used which are in danger of extinction, including medication plants used by Rwandans to heal before medic doctors came.
“We do not need to lose that knowledge of traditional healing using these plants as many people do not grow them and young generation do not know them anymore. We want to keep such and different researchers and internees from different Universities come here to research about them like now we have two internees from Scot lands, two from Holland doing research about conservation and what kind of plants we have here and what do we use them for,” said Ingabire.
Red Rocks make money from those researchers and learn from each other according to Ingabire.
Red Rocks currently partners with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) NGOs like Green Foundation, Rwanda Association for Conservation and they are looking for more partners.
Theophile Kamana, in charge of culture at Red Rocks said they manage to bring medicine herbs closer the community so that they stop poaching from the volcano park.
“One of the objectives of the garden is to preserve endangered plants Rwandans used in their life, like medicinal herbs. We also teach every one especially young generation to know these plants and we make it in a form of shared science rather than heritage to keep the knowledge that will help future generations,” Kamana said.
Recent research conducted by Rwandan traditional healers recorded over 700 medicinal plant species that are in danger.
Figures from the State of the Environment and Outlook Report 2015, Rwanda produced under the auspices of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), shows that there are some 42 threatened species in Rwanda.
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