Protected Areas


 Areas Protected


Terrestrial and Inland Water



Area protected, as per WDPA

Area protected, as per country reports

Coastal and Marine Coverage

Not Applicable

Area protected or conserved,
as per WDPA

Key species

Outside of protected areas biodiversity is highly threatened due to high human populations and the associated pressures on natural resources. Within the protected areas, including national parks and forests, biodiversity is well-protected, and represents a diverse set of ecosystems. Rwanda is home to the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei), a population shared with the DRC and Uganda that has shown exhibited a significant increase in population size.

Pressures and threats

The threats to biodiversity in Rwanda include: poaching and other illegal activities; fires; alien invasive species; deforestation; mining; illegal grazing; damming; dropping water levels; unsustainable fishing; lack of connectivity; unsustainable tourism use and infrastructure development; wetlands encroachment; and pollution. Rwanda has a very high human population density, which puts increasing pressure on available natural resources.

The majority of the national ecoregions in the country are under protected, in particular wetlands which are recognized as sanctuaries of rich biological diversity. An ecological gap analysis for Rwanda has been identifying new sites to be designated as protected areas. Akagera National Park is managed through a public-private partnership with African Parks.

Protected and conserved areas designated as global sites of importance

Global designation

Number of sites

UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves


UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Natural or Mixed)


Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites)


 Source ((Ramsar, 2019; UNESCO, 2019a, 2019b)


Priority areas for conservation


Number of sites

Alliance for Zero Extinction sites


Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas


Key Biodiversity Areas


 (AZE Secretariat, 2019; BirdLife International, 2019c, 2019a)

Regional Reference Information System Rwanda

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Protected Areas Management and Biodiversity Conservation

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