Kigali, 15 November 2016- University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK) has launched a joint Environmental and Natural resource research center, the first of its kind in East Africa.
The center unveiled this Tuesday is a result of a partnership between UNILAK and Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography together with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
“This center is a dream come true. It is a big achievement for our institution as it will contribute in research and innovation in environmental sustainability,” said Dr Jean Ngamije, the Vice Chancellor of UNILAK.
According to Dr. Gabriel Habiyaremye, the director of research and consultancy at UNILAK, the joint research center will carry out researches on climate change, land and water resources, GIS & Remote sensing, environment management, disaster management as well as outreach program to the public.
The joint research center was launched at the sideline of an International conference on sustainable environmental and natural resource management also hosted by UNILAK this Tuesday.
According to the organisers of the conference it provided an opportunity to brainstorm priorities actions to be considered by the center so as to set tones onto practical solutions in environment and natural resources management.
“In this international conference held today, knowledge and experiences on mainstreaming Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management (INREM) in sustainable manner was shared among academics, researchers, and practitioners in environment and natural resources management” said Dr. Habiyaremye.
The center will be working hand in hand with UNILAK’s Faculty of Environmental Studies which has contributed much in addressing environmental issues mainly in the areas of environmental management and conservation, emergency and disaster management, environmental and natural resource management and development issues.
Since June 2012 UNILAK have joined forces with the two Chinese institutions in a scientific collaboration that is designed to raise awareness on environmental issues and a series of international conferences on environment and natural resource have been conducted both in Rwanda and China courtesy of the collaboration.
The research center comes at a time when public sector, Experts, Scholars and the civil society are joining efforts to address environmental problems which include soil degradation, deforestation, climate change and loss of biodiversity.
The UNILAK’s joint Environmental and Natural resource research center is launched at a time when Rwanda is also hosting the general meeting for The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), that brings together more than 300 delegates from over 50 countries.
This meeting that brings high-level policymakers from across the world, prominent researchers and leaders from science associations, funding agencies, and non-governmental organizations under one roof seeks to among others survey research successes and powerful ideas that shape science in developing countries and showcase scientific excellence in the developing world.