IPRC-Kitabi launches human rights and conservation module

IPRC-Kitabi launches human rights and conservation module
IPRC-Kitabi launches human rights and conservation module

Africa-Press – Rwanda. The Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC) Kitabi has launched a new module in the courses dubbed “Human Rights and Conservation” with the aim to integrate human rights principles in conservation.

The module was launched under the theme: “An equation to ecosystem management and human rights activities.”

According to Richard Nasasira, the Principal of IPRC-Kitabi, the new module will ensure that nature is well conserved while ensuring the rights and participation of students and lecturers.

Experts recognize that without a peaceful, safe, and respectful setting where human lives are valued, and without livelihood security such security of tenure and access to land, natural resources, and other basic assets, no conservation commitment can be expected from local people.

Student of IPRC ikitabi during session in Kicukiro on Thursday. / Photo by Craish Bahizi

They add that by integrating human rights principles in conservation, people will be willing to engage in biodiversity conservation and care for their lands and resources.

The Rusizi based IPRC has an advanced diploma programme in wildlife and conservation technologies.

The module provides students with knowledge and tools necessary for integrating human rights in biodiversity conservation and natural resources management.

The module, Nasasira said, is concerned with social law, social requirements in natural resources management and protocol to be used in land use interventions

It explores the navigation of the different sources of law, application of rights law to conservation and development, responsibility of state and non-state institutions, conservation policy, customary land tenure, indigenous people, representation and participation, gender, community consultation and consent, participatory mapping, co-development of a land use plan among others.

“Actions to conserve nature and natural resources are closely related to the rights of people to secure their livelihoods, enjoy a healthy and productive environment. The pursuit of conservation goals can contribute positively to the realization of many fundamental human rights,” he said.

He said that securing rights such as land tenure and participation in decision making will promote effective environmental stewardship.

He said the human rights and conservation module is a result of a partnership with different stakeholders such as U.S Fish and Wildlife Services through generation grants since 2016.

“Conservation activities can also generate negative impacts where their links to issues of human rights and well-being are not sufficiently understood or addressed, and weak fulfillment of rights can also undermine conservation outcomes,” he said.

He said that the Lecturers, students upbeat Isidore Ndagijimana, a lecturer said that the new module will be strengthened by practices on the field where the community surrounds protected and conserved areas.

“Communities should get benefits from conservation so they commit to conservation,” he said.

Pacifique Sugira, a level 2 student in nature conservation welcomed the module saying: “ We could learn about human rights but not in a clear way on how it is integrated in nature conservation. The new module will specifically enlighten the relationship between human rights and conservation. This will reduce poaching and people will also have better livelihoods as rights.”

Aline Dufitumukiza, another student that the new module will help students perform well once out on the labour market in nature conservation.

During the module launching, Charles Karangwa, who is the Regional Head, Land systems IUCN ESARO and Rwanda Country Representative talked about “delivering Human Rights through Forest Landscape Restoration”.

“Forest Landscape Restoration unlocks multiple benefits to multiple challenges” he said.

The benefits, he noted, include improved livelihoods, food security, water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, gender equality and empowerment among others.

‘’ We cannot talk about rights without talking about conservation and climate change. By 2050, land degradation and climate change together are predicted to reduce crop yields by an average of 10 percent globally and by half in certain regions including in Africa,” he said.

With the new module he said, “Students can explore where to grow their knowledge globally on science and conservation”.

At the occasion, participants also learnt Lessons from involvement of communities in conservation approaches in Rwanda; a review of legal, policy framework and community conservation projects around protected Areas which were presented by the Head of Department, Tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board.

They also learnt about applying Human Rights through Agroforestry for livelihood projects presented by Albertine Rift Conservation Society and the Role of Special Guarantee Fund in conservation presented by Social Guarantee Fund ( SGF).

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