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World Resources Report Case Study. Maintenance of Hydropower Potential in Rwanda Through Ecosystem Restoration

Although it is not possible to state with confidence how climate change may alter precipitation patterns in Rwanda, it is clear that this process will affect the management and generation capacity of its hydroelectric sector in the future. The Government of Rwanda sought to restore the degraded Rugezi-Bulera- Ruhondo watershed by halting on-going drainage activities in the Rugezi Wetlands and banning agricultural and pastoral activities within and along its shores, as well as along the shores of Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo. These response measures, however, also meant that rural households in the region were no longer able to access key resources, adversely affecting the productivity of their livelihoods. Recognizing this, the Government implemented a suite of agricultural and and watershed management measures to offset the initial adverse impacts of their watershed protection policies and render rural livelihoods more sustainable in the longer-term.