Briquettes as an alternative to fuel woodBriquettes as an alternative to fuel wood

Rwanda’s economy and its largely rural population are dependent on natural resources that are increasingly under pressure due to population growth, deforestation, soil erosion, and natural hazards.

To attain the vision of becoming a resilient middle-income country in 2020, the main challenge is to maintain economic growth and simultaneously conserving the environment and adapting to climate change.

The effects of environmental degradation in Rwanda are particularly acute with respect to the living conditions of rural areas and the urban poor. Rural households strongly rely on natural resources as a basis for farming, energy production and housing. Additionally, environment degradation has been severely exacerbated by conflict, repeated population displacement and the clearing of natural areas for the resettlement of refugees from surrounding states since 1994.

Vision 2020 recognizes the importance the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation. In response, the Government of Rwanda has made a strong commitment towards “greening the economy” by creating legal frameworks and bolstering institutional support for the conservation of the environment.

National policy objectives for the management and protection of environmental resources include reducing the proportion of the population dependent on agriculture, the rate of diseases related to environmental degradation, and dependency on non-renewable biomass energy.

UNDP Rwanda supports the government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Environment Management Agency (REMA) and other relevant institutions in developing sound environmental management policies and strategies for poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth, and to address climate change challenges.

UNDP continues to provide capacity development support to the ministry in charge of environment and other sister government institutions to mainstream and integrate environment policies and the strategies into national development programmes as well as district planning, policy and budget processes to implement the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS). UNDP Rwanda also supported the government in the development of enabling policy framework to support an effective system for environment management and ecosystem conservation..