World Environment Day 2010:Kwita Izina gorilla-naming ceremony

2010 Theme ‘Many Species. One Planet. One Future’

June 5 WED, organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) every year since 1972, is the UN’s biggest global celebration for positive environmental action. The 2010 theme focuses on the central importance to humanity of the globe’s wealth of species and ecosystems, in support of the 2010 UN International Year of Biodiversity.

This year’s global host, Rwanda – a country of exceptional biodiversity that has made huge strides on environmental protection – will lead the celebrations with three days of keynote events,on 3-5 June, culminating in the epic Kwita Izina gorilla-naming ceremony in the world famous Volcanoes National Park on 5 June.

Details of Kwita Izina:The ceremony of giving a name to a new born human baby, commonly known as Kwita Izina, has been a Rwandan tradition for centuries. Three decades ago, the Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks, and the people of Rwanda, decided to extend this ceremony to include the cherished, endangered gorillas of their country in which 1/3 of the total population lives.

Kwita Izina is a Rwandan ceremony of giving a name to a new born baby gorilla,the uniquely Rwandan event, was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness for the conservation of the endangered mountain Gorillas. The ceremony’s main goal is in helping monitor each individual gorilla and their groups in their natural habitat. It was created as a means of bringing attention both locally and international about the importance of protecting the mountain gorillas and their habitats in the Virunga Mountains in the north of the country. Since 2005 the inaugural Gorilla Naming Ceremony was launched 103 baby gorillas have been named. And during this sixth annual Kwita Izina names will be given to eleven (11) mountain baby gorillas at the foot of the Virunga Mountains in Kinigi. The Rwandan government has generously shared the privilege of naming two baby gorillas with the global WED community. This will be done in the form of public vote.This year’s event will be held on June 5th 2010 on World Environment Day.

To name a baby gorilla – vote for your name choices now!

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