On Wednesday 7th February 2024, Biodiversity Conservation Organization (BIOCOOR) and Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) have signed Memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Huye district.
The purpose of this agreement is to create a framework for scientific and technical collaboration between the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) and Biodiversity Conservation Organization (BIOCOOR) in teaching, research, conservation and training mainly in natural resources and environmental management and in any other related areas.
Specifically, the collaboration agreement covers the areas of intervention and the following priority axes that can however be expanded:
- Short-term specialized trainings on various themes and tools in natural resources management.
- Development of joint environmental and technical research projects considering social demand, emerging topics and research priorities.
- Raising funds and grants for researches and other activities.
- Promotion and co-supervision of academic and professional internships, projects and research topics.
- Creation of opportunities for developing field practices and trips for PIASS students and staff.
- Providing scholarships to students when funds available.
- Conducting community outreach programs.
- Writing, publishing and promoting environmental research results.
- Development of methods and tools for sustainable management of environment in Rwanda.
- Organization of workshops, seminars and scientific conferences on various and updated topics related to environment.
- Promoting other objectives as they may be determined and agreed up on by both parties.
- Share information relevant to the nature of this collaboration and identification of other opportunities requiring future partnerships.
- Explore possibilities of collaboration in raising funds needed for the development of both institutions at local, national and international level.
- Participation of BIOCOOR staff in teaching activities where necessary.
They have also agreed on Joint obligations:
- At the operational level, the parties to this agreement undertake to develop and jointly manage specific programs, projects, and tools.
- The contracting parties undertake to host, guide, and supervise students, trainees, and/or researchers in their respective departments for the accomplishment of the tasks covered by this partnership framework.
- Each contacting party agrees to provide the partner institution a report on activities carried out by either students or staff of the contracting parties, under this collaboration framework.
- For joint research projects, PIASS and BIOCOOR will publish the research results together as co-authors.
- In case of joint project and program management, the contracting parties commit to agree on the financial and accounting policies that will apply.
This partnership agreement is established for an indefinite period. It may however be terminated at the request of one of the parties by giving three months’ notice. In any case where the collaborative activities have already started by the date of the notice, these will continue until their effective closure.
BIOCOOR is the organization started in 2012 as a social enterprise called BIOCOOP and in June 2020 shifted to a local Non-Government Organization (NGO) but kept the same focus. Its mission is to build a nation that is environmentally and socio-economically stable through its resources and skills.
The institution which later became PIASS-the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences was founded in 1970 by protestant churches which were operating in Rwanda. The institution was then called “Ecole de Theologie de Butare: ETB” (Butare School of Theology). In 1990, it was upgraded into Faculty of Protestant Theology of Butare (FTPB) which got official accreditation in 1993 by the convention No 1552 of 09 December 1993. In the same year, the convention No 1554/09.2/01/02 acknowledged the degrees delivered by the FTPB.
In the aftermath of 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the founders of the institution, in the collaboration with the FTPB national and international partners deployed a lot of efforts to help FTPB resume its activities in such a way that specific needs of a recovering society could be met. In that perspective, a so-called Special Program was launched in 1995 and lasted till 2001: three successive intakes of students have been trained over two years and educated in contextual and practical theological training through those kinds of crash courses. The graduates of the Special program were awarded with Diploma in Protestant Theology. As of 1999, the FTPB returned to the ordinary four years program of Hon. Bachelor’s degree in Protestant Theology.
In 2010, the FTPB grew up and was supplemented by two new Faculties: Faculty of Education (FED) and the Faculty of Development Studies (FDS) within the new framework of Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS). Those two new fields have been chosen based on the experiences and expertise acquired by Protestant Churches in Rwanda. The new Institution (PIASS) has been respectively accredited by the Ministerial Order no 09/11 of November 2009 licensing “Institut Protestant des Sciences Humaines de Butare (IPSHB)” and the ministerial order n°29 of 19/07/2010 recognizing the Institute under the new name of Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS).
Photo:Dr.Ange Imanishimwe, Executive Director of BIOCOOR and Prof. Dr.Penine Uwimbabazi, Vice Chancellor of PIASS while signing MOU
Photo:Photo:Dr.Ange Imanishimwe, Executive Director of BIOCOOR has signed MOU with PIASS
Photo: Prof. Dr.Penine Uwimbabazi, Vice Chancellor of PIASS has signed MOU with BIOCOOR
Photo: Both of them have agreed to to create a framework for scientific and technical collaboration
Photo: Collaboration of BIOCOOR and PIASS will contribute in teaching, research, conservation and training mainly in natural resources and environmental management and in any other related areas.
Photo: Both Parties have agreed to have a framework for scientific and technical collaboration