Naming a newly born baby has been part of Rwandan culture and tradition for centuries. Given the remarkable efforts by the Government of Rwanda, through the Rwanda Development Board, and in collaboration with various conservation partners and local communities , to actively protect the Mountai n Gorillas and their habitat, the old naming century’s tradition was modelled on these species to get the national brand known as “Kwita Izina”.
Names attributed to the gorillas play a significant role in the on-going programme of monitoring each individual gorilla in their families and habitat. Kwita Izina, a uniquely Rwandan event, was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness of conservation efforts for the endangered mountain gorilla.
For three decades prior to the first official gorilla naming ceremony, the naming of baby gorillas was carried out with little awareness amidst the public by the rangers and researchers that closely monitor these unique animals on a daily basis.
Kwita Izina has been attended by thousands of international, regional and local participants over the recent years. The Government of Rwanda and conservation partners have donated substantial resources to gorilla conservation and continue to do so. Each year new born gorilla babies are celebrated in an exciting event at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains .
Tourism that focuses on natural environments is a large and growing part of the tourism industry in Rwanda. While it can contribute in a positive manner to soci o-economic development and environmental protection, uncontrolled tourism growth can also cause environmental degradation, destruction of fragile ecosystems, and social and cultural conflict, undermining the basis of tourism. Therefore, considering that natural forests constitute 8.7% of the national territory, conservation continues to play a crucial role in the country’s development.