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To support the implementation of its national development plan, Vision 2020, the Government of Rwanda requested that UNEP conduct a country-wide post-conflict environmental assessment, with a view to ensuring that the country is on an environmentally sustainable trajectory.

The goal of the assessment is to suggest strategic environmental interventions within the overall context of Rwanda’s long-term development plans and the Millennium Development Goals. UNEP will do so by developing priority recommendations for remedial environmental interventions over the next five years. Specifically, the report will aim to provide a holistic and scientific overview of the key environmental challenges facing Rwanda; deliver technical advice and raise awareness on the strategic priorities of sustainable management of the environment and natural resources; catalyse political and financial support for corrective environmental action by development partners, UN actors, governments and NGOs; and introduce national partners to UNEP’s environmental assessment methodology.

Following a series of consultative missions undertaken in 2006 and 2007, UNEP commenced its environmental assessment work in March 2008. A national consultation workshop to review a UNEP-commissioned environmental desk study prepared by national experts was organized jointly with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority in August 2008 and attended by over 80 stakeholders. This consultation was immediately followed by two weeks of fieldwork, carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of eleven UNEP experts. Travelling throughout the country with national counterparts, they undertook site inspections, collected soil and water samples, interviewed local authorities, and conducted rapid household surveys and focus group discussions with local communities.

The key sectors addressed include agriculture and land degradation, forestry, water resources, energy, wildlife and protected areas, urban environment and industry. Environmental governance, including the ongoing decentralization process, is also examined. Finally, cross-cutting issues, such as the linkages between environment, conflict and peacebuilding, the environmental impacts of population displacement and resettlement, the complex dynamics between population growth, poverty and the environment, the growing risks of climate change and disasters, and gender-related issues are also being considered.

For further information on UNEP's project in Rwanda please contact Hassan Partow, Project Coordinator on: