SNAPP TEAM:Rwanda Natural Capital Accounting
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How can natural capital be integrated into Rwanda’s national economic accounts to help reduce poverty to under 30% and sustain 11.5% annual economic growth by 2020?

Research institutes and organization like The United Nations and World Bank are calling to improve our current measure of national wealth to incorporate equity and nature conservation. Rwanda is one of the World Bank’s pilot countries for “natural capital accounting,” or determining the value of the non-market services provided by nature. This team’s work will directly support Rwanda’s development planning process through various economic development programs such as Vision 2020, Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), Crop Intensification Program, and Green Growth Strategy among others.


OUR APPROACH: This group will tackle this challenge by quantifying the economic values of natural regions in Rwanda, exploring and identifying economic tradeoffs associated with different natural resource management options, and identifying innovative financing mechanisms that encourage investment in natural capital.

Team Status: COMPLETED
Team Critical Challenge: The Value of Nature

National Park Fees Capture Value

The results of value estimation survey data from visitors to Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park were analysed and integrated into southwest Rwanda’s regional Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for a manuscript focusing on tourism policy in Nyungwe National Park. The study found that increasing national park fees for high-income foreign tourists can bolster the national economy, improve conservation and aid continued peace-building.


Predicting Economic Responses to Policy Changes

The team developed an economic model using land account data in conjunction with Rwanda’s blueprint for an Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy in order to create a land use allocation manuscript that accounts for economic responses to changes in land use policy. The team’s work also provides a methodological framework to integrate natural capital into a system of national accounts.


“Data on protection of upstream watersheds will be useful in managing water for hydroelectric power, irrigation, and public supply in the face of climate change. The natural capital accounting steering committee in Rwanda, established to guide the development of World Bank WAVES project in Rwanda, can use lessons learnt from this working group to move their work forward.”

-Janaki Alavalapati, Team Leader

Key Products
Financing the sustainable management of Rwanda’s protected areas

This publication in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism quantitatively explores the economic impacts of adjusting Nyungwe National Park visitation fees to improve Park tourism opportunities and operations.

Natural capital accounting integration critical for sustainable economic growth

This study published in Forest Policy and Economics provides a methodological framework to integrate natural capital into a system of national accounts.

Valuing visitor fees and access in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

In this Tourism Management paper , the team assessed park use equity between and among international and national tourists visiting Nyungwe National Park.

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Janaki Alavalapati
Auburn University
Sofia Ahlroth
The World Bank
Ken Bagstad
The World Bank; US Geological Survey (USGS)
Mediatrice Bana
Wildlife Conservation Society
Onil Banerjee
Inter-American Development Bank
Eron Bloomgarden
Encourage Capital
Fred Boltz
Rockefeller Foundation
Marie-Laetitia Busokeye
Rwanda Environment Management Authority
Jane “Carter” Ingram
Ernst and Young
Innocent Kabenga
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Rwanda Program
Godfrey Kabera
Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
Pankaj Lal
Montclair State University
Glenn-Marie Lange
The World Bank
Michael Masozera
Wildlife Conservation Society
Jensen Montambault
The Nature Conservancy; University of Queensland
Rodrigue Mugabo
Wildlife Conservation Society
Emmanuel Nkurunziza
Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)
Thomas Ochuodho
University of Kentucky
Stephen Polasky
University of Minnesota
Claudine Uwera
University of Rwanda
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