Rwanda launch Kwita Izina 2013

May 29, 2013

A baby gorilla from Kwita Izina 2012 (photo by Rwanda Development Board)This year will see the 9th annual naming ceremony of gorillas, called Kwita Izina, take place on 22nd June in Musanze, near Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Twelve gorilla infants and one new gorilla family are due to be named in the event, which will celebrate nature and community with special activities taking place around the country, over the days leading up to the naming ceremony itself.

Kwita Izina was conceived as a way to promote the conservation of the critically endangered mountain gorilla, by celebrating new births. Rwanda is one of the few countries in the world where you can encounter these gentle giants in the wild, by taking a gorilla trekking safari, along with Uganda and the DRC.

Kwita Izina Ceremony in Rwanda (Photo by RDB)The role of local communities in conserving Rwanda gorillas and other wildlife is paramount, as the biggest threats to mountain gorillas come from poaching snares and habitat encroachment by farmland. Local communities around protected areas receive 5% of the tourism revenue generated by these destinations – so they have a vested interest in protecting the species.

Through sharing tourism revenue, various community projects receive funding around the country. This year, a maize mill and a women’s maize production cooperative near Nyungwe Forest National Park will be unveiled, in addition to the traditional gorilla naming ceremony itself near Volcanoes National Park.

Posted by Anne-Marie Weeden

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