Statements of the UNRC/ Mr Lamin Mannehduring the Second High Level Policy Dialogue on Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy Implementation

Apr 19, 2016

Nyakubahwa Minister of Natural Resources, Dr. Vincent Biruta,

Senior Government Officials here present,

Honorable Members of Parliament,

Provincial Governors and Mayors Here present,

Excellencies Representatives of the Diplomatic Community and Heads of Cooperation Agencies,

Colleagues from One UN in Rwanda,

Representatives of CSOs, Private Sector and the Media,

Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mwaramutse mwese! Good morning to you all.

Mbere na mbere mbanje kubashimira ko mwantumiye in this policy dialogue on Green Growth in Rwanda.

Nyakubahwa Minister, on 24th Jul 2015 we gathered here in Serena Hotel, to discuss the level of progress made in the implementation of Rwanda’s Green Growth and Climate Resilient Strategy. One of the key recommendations retained was “Convening half yearly high level Dialogues”. As we are aware, these are important exchanges to inform sectoral policies & programmes, and reminding each and every one of their responsibilities and role in Rwanda Green Growth Strategy implementation.

It is therefore a great honour and pleasure for me to be here today to make these remarks on behalf of the One UN Rwanda Family. First of all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and congratulation to the Government of Rwanda, and to MINIRENA in particular on the achievements already registered in this domain and also for the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of last year’s dialogue.

Secondly, we are pleased to note that the Government led by the Ministry of Natural Resources has consolidated its coordination framework in the implementation of the strategy by assigning focal ministries and persons to each Programme of Action which was designed to address the most important areas of work that are most likely to positively impact on green growth. The focal persons have reported the progress measured against the indicators and targets stipulated in the strategy by completing the monitoring tool developed since the first dialogue. The detailed progress that will be discussed here today will no doubt invigorate the implementation and monitoring of the strategy in a consolidated and organized manner as well as promote collaboration among different sectors towards the same goal and vision on low carbon and climate resilient development. 

Nyakubahwa Minister,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

we are now witnessing the devastating results climate change can bring upon us: more frequent natural disasters and unpredictable weather events such as effects of El Nino and La Nina: floods and drought will aggravate livelihoods of the poor Rwandans especially ones living in rural and hilly regions and heavily depending on natural resources for their living. We are being informed by climate scientists that those unpredictable weather events will bring more frequent landslides, destroy crops, homes and infrastructures, and slowly change functions and services that the current ecosystems provide to human well-being. These will also burden the public finances needed to cover the costs generated by these catastrophes and the needs for a sustainable recovery.

Honorable Minister, in the last COP 21, in which the Government of Rwanda participated actively, you delivered an important statement at the high level segment on December 7th 2015 that acknowledged every one’s engagement in this Green Growth. The statement called for more investments in new technologies and renewable energy to slow down climate change and attain shared prosperity. It also re-echoed the important point that climate action is not about sacrificing growth, but rather about ensuring that development gains can be sustained for generations to come. It is clear that all of us, from different sectors, have responsibilities and role to play.

The high level policy dialogue being conducted today will no doubt meticulously review the concrete achievements made in recent years by Rwanda towards a green and climate resilient economy and what still remains to be done. In the meantime, it thus suffices to mention a few. In the first instance, we could note that reasonable progress has been made in sensitizing senior central and local Government Officials as well as the wider population to the imperatives for attaining a greener economy and climate resilience.

Green villages are being constructed and inhabited in many cases by people relocated from the landslide prone areas and a Green Village Toolkit is being utilized in Government’s upscaling efforts in respect of more climate resilient and green rural settlements in Rwanda.

Complex studies on the costing of the green growth in the water and forestry sub-sectors have allowed for quantification of the financial needs for transiting from business as usual approaches to more resource efficient, low-carbon and climate resilient management of these natural resources. It is also notable that the costing of the energy and agriculture sectors have been done and provide a sound basis for transforming the management systems of them in similar manner as the above-cited natural resources sectors.

Since January 2015, we have noted that the Government has taken more concrete measures to improve air quality, the health and environment of Rwandans by, among other things, enforcing  mandatory and more stringent vehicle emissions testing as mandated by the Prime Minister’s Instructions. This aims at preventing air pollution from vehicular emissions and machines using petroleum products. Furthermore, a car free zone is being piloted in Kigali which aims to expand the entire central business district as a part of the master plan for the urban planning to decongest the city and to create space for green environment.

We have also noted with satisfaction that Kigali City is reforming its conventional structure to a more sustainable way by introducing green homes, using renewable energy sources for water heating, street lightening and utilizing low-cost and efficient materials. The pavements of many streets are also being restructured to allow for safer pedestrian, cyclist and green lanes.

Environmental crimes are being more aggressively combated under the leadership of Rwanda National Police. A number of people were arrested in operations against illegal mining since establishment of Environment Unit within RNP in 2015.

Notable progress is also being made in the renewable energy sector. The 8.5MW solar power plant that has been operational since July 2014 has created 350 local jobs and increased the nation’s generation capacity by 6%. The Government has been steadily putting into effect its intention to step up the utilization of abundant water resources from the two major drainage basins of Africa for hydropower development, whose capacity of 57.39 MW before has now been increased to 232 MW, with plans to pull the bar up to 334 MW by 2017.

The above are but a few of the concrete achievements realized by Rwanda on its path towards green development and transformation and climate resilience. But as H.E. President Paul Kagame never ceases to remind, much still needs to be done and the challenges are increasing in complexity. But as we look forward to Rwanda’s signing next week of the historic COP 21 agreement that will hopefully see a more consistent and substantial flow of the much needed funds for Green Growth and Climate Resilience, we could afford to maintain a high level of optimism for sustained success. We are pleased to note that Rwanda’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted to the UNFCCC in the run up to the COP 21 negotiations were based on the 14 Programmes of Action of the Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy that are already well harmonized with SDGs. UN Rwanda is committed to provide all the technical and financial support it could muster in the translation of INDCS into NDCs for optimal readiness to leverage this funding and ensure effective implementation of the country’s Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy.  

 

Thanks a lot for your kind attention. Murakoze Cyane Merci Beaucoup

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