Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, highlighted the country’s remarkable progress in nature conservation during her speech at the Champions for Nature community gathering. This event which took place in New York, on 18th September, 2023, brought together leaders from business, government, and civil society to address the urgent need to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and accelerate the transition to a nature-positive economy.
In her address, Dr. Mujawamariya emphasized that Rwanda, often referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes but also for its vision of a sustainable future.
She said that the country has implemented various initiatives that showcase the important role of businesses in protecting the environment and fostering a harmonious relationship with nature.
Sustainable tourism and wildlife conservation are fundamental pillars of Rwanda’s success story. The Minister highlighted that businesses in Rwanda are not solely profit-driven but are genuinely dedicated to preserving the country’s rich biodiversity and improving the livelihoods of local communities.
“Rwanda is home to half of the world’s mountain gorilla population, and businesses play a pivotal role in ensuring their protection. Through responsible tourism and community engagement, these businesses demonstrate that nature can be both a source of revenue and a resource worth safeguarding.” She said
Gorilla trekking tourism has become a significant source of income for Rwanda. The fees collected from tourists not only contribute to conservation efforts but also support local development, ensuring that communities directly benefit from conservation initiatives.
The Government of Rwanda recognizes that sustainable business practices are not just about being eco-friendly but also economically viable. To attract green investments, the government has created a conducive environment by offering tax incentives, implementing enabling regulations, and investing in renewable energy projects. These efforts have attracted businesses eager to contribute to a greener world while ensuring their own financial success.
Rwanda, like other countries, has taken key actions to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). These actions include revising the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) to align it with the adopted GBF, mobilizing resources for its implementation, and monitoring and evaluating the progress of the NBSAP.
Through sectors such as tourism, green investments, climate-resilient agriculture, renewable energy, circular economy practices, community engagement, and digital innovation, Rwandan businesses are rewriting the narrative of what is possible. The country’s experience serves as an inspiring story of how businesses can be a powerful force for good in the world. It showcases that economic development and environmental protection can and must go hand in hand.
Dr. Mujawamariya concluded her speech by inviting all participants to join Rwanda on its incredible journey towards a flourishing natural environment. She announced Rwanda’s participation in COP28 in Dubai, where the country plans to showcase its green investment opportunities and progress in climate action. Additionally, Rwanda aims to attract more resources for implementation as it remains committed to its role in preserving the global goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Minister’s speech highlighted Rwanda’s commitment to sustainability and the crucial role of businesses in protecting the environment while driving economic growth. It served as an invitation for global stakeholders to collaborate with Rwanda in creating a world where nature thrives alongside thriving businesses.