Managing natural resources in Rwanda’s districts under competing development pressures

Rwanda has committed itself to becoming a middle-income country by 2020. The country’s Vision 2020 and Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies both set out goals to intensify agriculture, increase national energy output and improve access to modern energy services. However, these development goals – in tandem with increasing population growth and urbanization – place increasing pres-sure on limited water and biomass resources, and the major challenge of how to translate national priorities and strategies into local action remains. This discussion brief contributes to the current revision of Rwanda's District Development Plans by exploring development challenges and opportunities in three districts in Rwanda – Rutsiro, Bugesera and Kirehe – each with differing landscapes. It draws on an integrated landscape monitoring survey carried out in each district from February to April 2016, and perspectives and opinions of key stakeholders and community representatives.