Reporter Stephanie Hanes and photographer Jeffrey Barbee traveled around Rwanda to look at the lasting impact of choices made about the environment during conflict. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 left an estimated 800,000 people dead, and helped destabilized central Africa. In the face of this human catastrophe, few people focused on environmental conservation. Yet more than a decade years later, what happened to the Rwanda's environment during that crisis is significantly affecting the country's recovery efforts. Reporter Stephanie Hanes and photographer Jeffrey Barbee traveled around Rwanda to look at the lasting impact of choices made about the environment during conflict. Their reports have appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, Concord Monitor and San Francisco Chronicle, as well as on the PBS show Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria.
This video segment was origially featured on Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria in May, 2006.
In 1995, a Rwandan named Gad Tegeri cut down a tree in the Gishwati Forest Reserve, 30 square miles of soaring hardwoods in the hills east of Rwanda's largest lake.
He and his family, returning to Rwanda from exile in Congo, needed land to grow food. The Gishwati forest seemed more fertile ground for restarting life than United Nations refugee camps outside the city of Gisenyi