Doha News travelled with RwandAir to attend the annual Gorilla Naming Ceremony in Rwanda, alongside esteemed celebrities and dignitaries.
Rwanda’s commitment to conservation extends beyond preserving its breathtaking landscapes to include the remarkable wildlife that calls the country home.
Among these cherished residents are the mountain gorillas, a critically endangered species exclusive to the Virunga massif, a shared territory with neighbouring countries. These gentle giants, known for their immense strength and gentle nature, hold a special place in the hearts of Rwandans.
The 19th Gorilla Naming Ceremony, Kwita Izina, was inaugurated on the Friday 1st September, by the Rwandan First Lady, Jeannette Kagame.
Her opening address conveyed the significance of the event, emphasising its role in advancing gorilla conservation and community well-being.
Mrs. Kagame spoke about how Kwita Izina symbolises Rwanda’s dedication to protecting its iconic mountain gorillas – not just as a national treasure but as a global symbol of conservation success.
The naming of baby gorillas during the ceremony underscores Rwanda’s commitment to safeguarding their habitat and ensuring the prosperity of coexisting communities.
Mrs. Kagame underlined that the event is a testament to the collective power of action and the enduring bond between humanity and the natural world.
An annual affair
The Kwita Izina Gorilla Naming Ceremony in Rwanda holds a unique significance, both on national and global scales. This annual celebration of new gorilla births serves as a poignant reminder of Rwanda’s dedication to wildlife conservation and community development.
At its core, Kwita Izina represents the country’s commitment to preserving its iconic mountain gorilla population, as it not only adds to the catalogue of known gorillas but also emphasises the importance of individual gorillas within their communities.
This annual celebration bestows names upon baby gorillas, symbolising the enduring partnership between people and wildlife. It also brings together individuals from all walks of life including celebrities, conservationists, and communities alike – united by their shared commitment to the cause of conservation.
The environment protection efforts in Rwanda reflect the nation’s unwavering dedication to preserving its natural heritage. The remarkable increase in the gorilla population, from a mere 400 to an impressive 1063 units, stands as a testament to the triumph over adversity.
A holistic conservation
Conservation, in Rwanda, transcends the boundaries of protecting a species; but also encompasses the well-being of local communities. The country has implemented the practice of sharing 10% of the park’s earnings with neighbouring residents.
This approach has metamorphosed remote villages into thriving hubs, providing access to essential services like healthcare, education, clean water, and infrastructure development, reflecting a model of sustainable coexistence, where the welfare of both humans and nature are intertwined.
Rwanda’s forward-looking approach goes beyond the ceremony itself. Plans for a maternity ward and enhanced clean water infrastructure underscore the nation’s commitment to gorilla protection and community development.
The African nation’s dedication to sustainable tourism is evident through stringent regulations aimed at protecting the environment and wildlife.
The preservation of mountain gorillas, Rwanda’s iconic residents, is a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguarding its rich biodiversity.