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Rwanda Landscape


Planet Birdsong is running a case study for its proposed impact model in Rwanda. The Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management (CoEB) at the University of Rwanda provides an established entity and a ready and able partner.

The partnership aims to foster an increased knowledge and interest in the natural world, to expand the role of bird life as a measure of diversity richness, and to develop a better appreciation and knowledge of the interface with sustainable development, whether in communities, education, forestry and agriculture, water management, tourism or urban development, all to enable people to expand their knowledge and grow their livelihoods. The economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the imperative of building our natural capital into managing sustainable development in the face of climate change, gives even more urgency to the task. Planet Birdsong anticipates fostering a rigorous, enthusiastic and enduring approach to technical capacity building and sustainable development goals. ​
Participants in the Planet Birdsong project at all levels, flourish through exposure to art, science and technology in the fields of biodiversity, music, audio recording, and computer science. At community level, knowledge and appreciation carries into the working activities of agriculture, forestry, water management and sustainable community development. At a more scientific level, international connections for science and wildlife tourism will benefit.

The project's role of education in sound recording provides a considerable potential contribution locally to the Rwanda Biodiversity Information System and globally to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology eBird dataset.

The specialised birds and acoustic variations of Rwanda are an example of where a country and sub-country level approach can capture local bird sound characteristics. Rwandan work on the technical aspects will advance the value of the data collection approach for other countries and sub-regions around the world.

As a specific example is Planet Birdsong’s aim to record for Rwandan science and posterity the unique and very high-quality work and knowledge of Claver Ntoyinkima a key Guide in Nyungwe Forest National Park. It is believed that his skills, using verbally generated bird sounds to attract the special Albertine Rift Endemics in Nyungwe Forest National Park and then find and identify them to visiting clients, is virtually unique amongst the guides and has a very special legacy value, potentially worthy of being lodged in the National archives at the National Museum of the Environment, subject to government agreement, as well as being used for educational purposes.

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