Rwanda Pathway to a Green Economy
Rwanda adopted Vision 2020 as a strategic direction for the country and a set of measurable policy goals with regard to population, land and management and utilisation of natural resources and other socio-economic sectors that can contribute to the emergence of a green economy.
In May 2009, Rwanda hosted the 3rd African Ministerial Conference on Financing for Development under the theme of Climate Change: Financing Opportunities and Challenges to achieve the MDGs in Africa. This conference, the first joint meeting of African Finance, Economic Planning, and Environment Ministers on the continent, contributed to crafting African perspectives on the Green Economy. The Kigali Communiqué adopted by ministers stressed the importance of “creating an enabling environment to support the transition towards a green economy and pursuing low carbon growth, as well as facilitating the private sector to play a crucial role in the transfer and adoption of clean technologies”.
Green Economy Success Story
The case of Ecosystem Restoration in Rwanda
As the protection and management of the environment is one of the pillars of Rwanda’s Vision 2020, the “country of a thousand hills” has undertaken many initiatives to protect ecosystems for income generation and good governance. Several of these projects, including the initiative to preserve the Rwandan mountain gorilla and wetland restoration efforts in the Nyabarongo-Akagera network and Rugezi, are already beginning to reap environmental, economic, and employment benefits.
For the full story, please click here.
Partnership with UNEP on Green Economy
As part of a regional initiative on green economy in Africa, UNEP is partnering with Rwanda on the implementation of a project on Green Economy and Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship Development in Rwanda, with support from the European Union. Through this initiative, UNEP seeks to provide support on macro-economic assessments of the opportunities to promote green investment in high potential sectors that contribute to economic growth and development, decent job creation and environmental improvement.
Other UNEP related initiatives
Poverty and Environment Initiative
The UNDP-UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative (PEI) seeks to contribute to poverty reduction and improved well-being of poor and vulnerable groups through mainstreaming of environment into national development processes. The government’s objective is to ‘encourage the acceleration of productivity and growth, and launch a process for sustainable development’.
The major aim of the first phase of PEI– Rwanda (November 2005-May 2007) was to ensure integration of environment into Rwanda’s new poverty reduction strategy papers, the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
The second phase (August 2007-December 2010) involved the building of capacity for sound environmental management at the local, district and national level, in collaboration with other ongoing initiatives to allow implementation of the EDPRS and its environmental commitments.
For the Full PEI Country Fact Sheet, please click here.
UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2008-2012
The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2008-2012 in Rwanda provides a United Nations response to national needs and priorities as outlined in the Government of Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) and Vision 2020. It is intended to assist the Government of Rwanda in realizing its medium and long-term development targets. One of the five expected outcomes is that the management of the environment, natural resources and land is improved in a sustainable way. Expected outcomes include the establishment of an enabling policy framework to support an effective system for environment management and ecosystem conservation, enhanced capacity to restore and protect ecosystems of national and global importance against potential degradation, as well as improved economic productivity using natural resources in an environmentally friendly way.
For the full report, please click here.
What Rwandan Leaders have said about the Green Economy
Rwandan President Paul Kagame:
(...)"The environment is our life-blood; indeed the real surprise is not that ministries of finance are now talking to ministries of environment – but that it has actually taken this long. Even when we look beyond agriculture, tourism, mineral wealth and fisheries, our economies depend critically on good environmental stewardship(...)
(...)From a labor perspective, the bulk of our continent's employment comes from utilization of the environment (...)
(...)This being the case therefore, mitigating environmental challenges, including climate change, water availability, sustainable extraction of minerals and soil fertility management, should be among Africa's top priorities”(...)
Opening speech at the Third Edition of the African Ministerial Conference on Financing for Development: Climate Change: Financing Opportunities and Challenges to achieve the MDGs in Africa, 21 May 2009, Kigali, Rwanda. For the full speech, please click here.