April 19, 2024

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After COP 28, TOP AFRICA NEWS interview with Hon. Minister of Environment, Dr Jeanne d’Arc MUJAWAMARIYA

Rwanda's Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, shares her invaluable insights and reflections on the recently concluded COP 28 in Dubai. TOP AFRICA NEWS proudly presents the thoughts of influential leaders who are instrumental in shaping Africa’s environmental future. Join us as we delve into an enlightening interview with Dr. Mujawamariya and explore the courageous actions Rwanda is undertaking to pave the way for a sustainable tomorrow.

 How successful do you think Rwanda’s efforts were in calling for more ambitious climate action at COP28, and what specific outcomes or agreements were achieved?

Minister Mujawamariya: At COP28, Rwanda’s proactive approach in calling for transformative actions yielded substantial success. The primary focus on doubling adaptation finance was met with positive outcomes. The COP28 results reflect a collective commitment to amplify climate actions, with developed nations urged to double adaptation finance and enhance overall climate efforts. As a committed party to the UNFCCC, Rwanda actively engaged in negotiations, showcasing its own climate achievements and encouraging all parties to contribute to global climate action ambitions. Notable outcomes include the pledge of $83 billion in climate finance, the operationalization of the loss and damage fund, and the establishment of a framework for the global goal on adaptation.

Can you provide some insights into the key challenges Rwanda faced in advocating for increased climate action at COP28, and how did you address these challenges?

Minister Mujawamariya: Rwanda as other developing countries normally encounter significant challenges when advocating for increased climate action at COPs, including limited financial resources, technological gaps, and a disproportionate burden of climate impacts. We often struggle to access funding for mitigation and adaptation projects, hindering our ability to meet climate targets. Additionally, the lack of advanced technologies and expertise makes it difficult for us to transition to sustainable practices. Overcoming these challenges necessitated a commitment to global partnerships facilitating financial support, technology transfer, and capacity building for Rwanda and other developing countries. Encouraging inclusivity in decision-making processes at COP meetings is essential to ensuring that the concerns and priorities of developing nations are taken into account when shaping international climate policies.

In your opinion, what role can Rwanda play in driving global climate action and inspiring other nations to take more ambitious measures in combating climate change?

Minister Mujawamariya: Rwanda stands poised to play a crucial role in propelling global climate action and inspiring other nations to adopt more ambitious measures. Our country has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability through its domestic policies, including efforts to increase renewable energy use and enhance climate resilience. By showcasing successful models of green development, Rwanda can serve as an inspiring example for other nations seeking to balance economic growth with environmental responsibility. Furthermore, Rwanda’s active participation in international climate forums and its advocacy for increased ambition underscore its dedication to the global cause. Through diplomatic engagement, sharing best practices (including home grown solutions), and emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts, Rwanda can contribute significantly to fostering a sense of urgency and collective responsibility in addressing the climate crisis on a global scale. We always say that if Rwanda as a young nation, which has a tumultuous past, can do it then everyone else can do it, for the common good.

How do you plan to leverage the outcomes and experiences from COP28 to further enhance Rwanda’s environmental policies and initiatives, particularly in areas such as renewable energy, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development?

Minister Mujawamariya: Lessons learned and best practices showcased at COP28 will be integrated into national strategies, with upcoming elaboration of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST) and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Specifically, successful models and innovative approaches showcased at COP28 particularly in areas like renewable energy, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development will serve as valuable benchmarks and contribute to the improvement of what we have already. Networking with other nations, sharing knowledge, and fostering international collaborations are key components of translating global discussions into actionable policies. Additionally, COP28 outcomes will be used to reinforce the importance of setting and achieving more ambitious targets at the national level, encouraging the adoption of environmentally friendly practices and technologies. By aligning domestic policies with the collective goals set forth in international agreements, Rwanda will continue to contribute to a more coordinated and effective global response to climate change impacts.

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