Rwanda’s Minister of Environment Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya have commended the existing partnership with IUCN for the last decade since Rwanda’s membership.
Speaking at IUCN Framework Partners’ Annual Meeting in Kigali on 18 April 2023, Minister Mujawamariya highlighted Rwanda’s Role in global environmental processes and acknowledged IUCN’s contribution in conservation initiatives in Rwanda and everywhere in the World.
She said “Our engagement with IUCN has been instrumental to many achievements in different areas such as restoration of ecosystems for people and biodiversity, Integrated water resources management for development, Climate change adaptation and mitigation and Sustainable Finance for people and nature.”
Kaori Yasuda, IUCN Rwanda Country Representative speaking at the meeting
The Annual meeting which brought together various IUCN partners was also graced by various high level officials including Dr. Bruno Oberle, Director General of IUCN; Luther Anukur, IUCN Regional Director, East and Southern Africa; Nana Oumou Toure-Sy, IUCN Regional Director, West and Central Africa; Kaori Yasuda, IUCN Rwanda Country Representative, Government officials and development partners among others.
Delivering her remarks, Minister Mujawamariya reminded that “Climate change and biodiversity issues are intertwined and addressing them is possible if governments, private sector, NGOs and the community at large, work together.”
She explained that Rwanda opted for a green growth approach to development by integrating environment and climate change, and nature conservation into its development agenda.
Using examples of what Rwanda has done so far, Minister Mujawamariya noted that Rwanda ratified and domesticated various Multilateral Environmental Agreements including, among others the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, The Convention on Biological diversity (and its Nagoya and Cartagena protocols) and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
She also added that Rwanda participates actively in the global environmental action and stands firm to the fact that governments, private sector, NGOs and civil society need to join forces in the efforts to save the planet.
Apart from above mentioned climate actions,
- Rwanda championed the amendment of the Montreal Protocol which resulted in the Kigali amendment synergizing the ozone protection and mitigating global warming; as a result, the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable cooling and cold chain has been established in Rwanda to serve the Continent.
- As of January 2023, Rwanda assumes the of Co-Chair of the NDC Partnership for a 2-year term (2023-2024) to drive implementation support of the Paris Agreement commitments (NDC).
- Rwanda is among five pioneer countries in the task Force for Access to Climate Finance and this will inform the architecture of climate finance globally to meaningfully serve developing countries.
- To contribute to global goals on biodiversity, Rwanda submitted its country commitments to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. These are aligned with national development strategies and other international commitments such as SDGs and Paris Agreement among others.
Participants came from various countries to participate in this year’s IUCN Annual meeting
With all those initiatives, Minister Mujawamariya explained that “Implementation of global commitments in line with country’s priorities resulted in various initiatives addressing issues related to climate change, conservation and restoration of ecosystems.”
“Nature-based solutions have been integrated into our national programming. More than 700,000 hectares of landscape were restored between 2011 and 2019, and Critical wetlands have been protected and restored, including the recently established Nyandungu Eco-Park in the City of Kigali.” She said
“Other initiatives resulted in the establishment of our newest national park – Gishwati-Mukura National Park – which has been recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.” She added.
Before concluding her remarks, Minister Mujamariya emphasized that “Partners such IUCN and other development partners are instrumental in this journey and we are sure we can achieve more through cooperation and collaboration.”
She also commended the recent organization of first ever Africa Protected Areas Congress in 2022, and its outcomes, as an example of how it is possible to catalyse transformational change.
“Addressing climate change and conserving nature is the best investment of humanity for a brighter future. And of course, it is best done through a mutually beneficial partnership. Let us together fight triple planetary crisis of pollution, climate and biodiversity loss and together we win;” Minister Mujawamariya said
“I am convinced that our collaborative efforts in conservation of nature and climate change will generate considerable results towards building prosperity on a safe planet for resilient people; because we have only one planet, there is no planet “B”, we have to protect it!” she concluded.
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