Rob Baas, Wilderness Rwanda MD and Aline Umutoni, CITW Community Co-ordinator, attended the African Congress on Protected Areas (APAC) in Kigali, Rwanda. The congress, held between 18-23 July, hosted 2 400 delegates from over 70 countries, all gathered to discuss a sustainable future for Africa.
Aline, who was invited as a representative of the Top 100 young conservation leaders of 2021, participated in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) discussions, and joined the Youth APAC Congress.
Aline was thrilled to meet her fellow Top 100 youth conservation leaders from other countries, including India, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Zambia. They discussed their various initiatives on the ‘Transformative youth engagement and initiatives around Protected Areas’ panel.
Another highlight for Aline was meeting Marco Lambertini, the General Director of WWF International. ‘We had the opportunity to share our work, organisations, experiences and challenges with Marco. It was amazing’, Aline enthused. They also met WWF Africa Director, Alice Ruhweza.
Rob joined the panel on ‘Reimagining protected areas as natural infrastructure’, organised by the African Wildlife Foundation. Discussion points included how ecotourism drives conservation in Rwanda and the importance of sharing benefits with communities. The presentations focused on building a future for Africa where people and wildlife thrive together.
‘Once again Rwanda is showing its dedication to conservation and the drive to improve and develop. Hosting this congress makes a statement for the country’s vision, and we were proud to play our part’, said Rob at the end of the successful week.