By Ange de la Victoire Dusabemungu
Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, has highlighted the importance of the upcoming COP28 conference in Dubai for the country. Speaking about the significance of the event, Dr. Mujawamariya said, “Climate change is a big global problem, and Rwanda is just one country in the international community. COP28 is very important for Rwanda because it offers opportunities to join other global climate action efforts, to network, to build and strengthen partnerships with other stakeholders who are really eager to fight for this planet of ours, to fight for climate change, to attract green investment, to support the country’s climate action initiatives, to sell our best practices, our homegrown solutions.”
The minister emphasized that COP28 would provide Rwanda with another platform to showcase its achievements, aspirations, and the challenges it faces on its path to net zero emissions. She stated, “COP28 for us is another space to express and to network with other partners and friends of Rwanda.”
When asked about what Rwanda will be showcasing at COP28, Dr. Mujawamariya mentioned several key initiatives. She said, “We will be showcasing our key green investments. We will be showcasing Rwanda’s green taxonomy. We will be showcasing the Nyandungu Eco Park, which is really a flower to the city of Kigali. And the Green City Kigali project, the e-mobility, e-waste investments, as well as the conservation and reforestation initiatives.”
Dr. Mujawamariya also highlighted the uniqueness of Rwanda’s approach to climate action and its homegrown solutions. She explained that one of these solutions is the Umuganda, a community work program that promotes reforestation and brings together various sectors of society. She said, “How can people work together? Private sector, civil society, public sector go together as one. And I want to tell you that when we meet in different gatherings, some of my colleagues used to ask, how can NGOs and the public sector ministries get up in the morning and go plant trees together? How can the Ministry of Finance work together with the Ministry of Environment? Because in other countries, they have what I can call a fight. But here, we don’t fight. But we fight for the cause of the planet. So that is also one of the homegrown solutions.”
In addition to showcasing its initiatives, Rwanda has high expectations for COP28. Dr. Mujawamariya emphasized the importance of climate finance and the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund.
She also expressed the hope that COP28 would be a conference of action rather than just discussions. She stated, “The global warming is a status we cannot keep talking. And of course, we expect that this COP will tackle the issue of adaptation and we adopt a comprehensive and robust framework with a global goal on adaptation. Of course, when we talk about adaptation, we should not forget that we have also the mitigation. At COP28, countries must commit to equitably phasing out all fossil fuel.”
As Rwanda prepares to attend COP28, it aims to not only showcase its own achievements and initiatives but also to network and collaborate with other countries and stakeholders in the fight against climate change. The country’s commitment to collective action and its unique approach to climate action make it an important participant in this global event.