Honorable Permanent Secretary of MoE,
Colleagues from the One UN Family,
Estimated partners,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Muraho Mwese! Mwaramutse neza

Welcome to this Forward-looking Joint Sector Review Meeting 2019/2020. I am delighted to be with you to focus on the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) sector: an area at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Honorable Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, FATINA MUKARUBIBI, for leading this important event. Also, thank you all our colleagues from the Ministry of Environment for the great service and leadership you provided.

Under the new theme of the new Vision 2050 of Rwanda, ENR sector is the foundation of the economy in Rwanda and the key to sustain quality of our life. We are happy to know that environment and climate change are already highlighted in Rwanda, and sustainable management of ENR sector is again a priority area in the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1). During the last fiscal year, the ENR sector made many notable advancements. Led by the Ministry of Environment, and working with its sub-sectors such as Water, Land, Mining, Environmental Management and Meteorology, the ENR sector has been taking the lead on the sustainable management of environment in Rwanda, as well as on coordinating with other sectors toward the transformation to a green economy.

 Achievements include, but are not limited to, the formulation of the National Determined Contributions, National Land Use Master Plans, and urban and rural sustainable settlement plans. Resource efficiency and cleaner production techniques have been introduced to the young but rapidly growing industrial sector, and green building codes were introduced. ENR & Climate Change was mainstreamed into District Development Plans, Sector Strategic Plans (SSP) of priority economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, industry and urbanization, the EDPRS2, NST 1 and national budgets.

Despite the notable progress, as we all may recognize, Rwanda is already facing the devastating impacts of climate change. The broad and cross-cutting nature of the sector, constantly emerging issues due to urbanization and climate change require more high-level and agile technical and institutional capacity at all levels across the ENR sector. The June 2018 ENR Joint Sector Review (JSR) and capacity needs assessment for M&E also highlighted a range of gaps: both reports concluding that capacity building of the ENR sector could take an additional 10 to 15 years in Rwanda. Now, we need to act. We need to act effectively and more efficiently. We are to not only plan for our own sector but also take up the important role of influencing and supporting the planning of other sectors. Thus, policy planning with concrete action plans is important, certainly at this moment when we are planning for the long-term and mid-term future. This phase should be carefully coordinated, both within the ministry and agencies and also with other sectors or related parties.   

UNDP has supported the advancement in the ENR sector through multiple upstream and downstream programmes - the ‘Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of the Ministry of Natural Resources in Rwanda (SICM)’, Support to the Development and Implementation of a Green Growth and Economy Approach to Rwanda’s Economic Transformation (Green Economy)’ programme, Poverty and Environment Initiative (PEI), and Capacity Building Support to National Environment and Climate Fund (Support to FONERWA)’ programme. UNDP has also served as co-chair of the sector, supporting the entire sector through technical assistance to joint sector meetings and convening Development Partner Meetings. From January 2019, we have a new programme with MoE and FONERWA to Strengthen Capacities of the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Sector for Green Economy Transformation. We expect our usual partnership and collaboration to build up ENR sector to another level.

Today, we will have the opportunity to discuss our prioritized areas in ENR sectors and share amazing progress we made from the implementation of policy actions in 2018/2019. We will also validate the 2019/2019 sector target and related policy actions to improve our ENR sector in Rwanda. I wish us all fruitful deliberations and a successful Joint Sector Review.

Thank you.

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